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Kids recycle projects to honor 3rd ID
Old art gets second chance
Seventh-grader Madison Ray, 13, visual arts teacher Marlina Hullum and seventh-grader Marquise Pentelton, 13, pose next to the freedom quilt Snelson-Golden students made out of recycled art projects. - photo by Photo by Seraine Page
After old art projects started collecting dust in a closet, two Snelson-Golden Middle School teachers decided to collaborate on an eco-friendly classroom project while giving a warm welcome to the troops returning home.
Visual arts teacher Marlina Hullum came up with the idea to recycle old art projects last year when students’ leftover art assignments started piling up.
“I just could not throw all of that paper away,” Hullum said.
She worked with family and consumer sciences teacher Sonia Blackburn who had the blenders and other materials needed to shred old art projects that students didn’t take home.
Since the beginning of the year, the students have been recycling construction paper by hand. They start the process by soaking shredded paper, pressing it onto a wire screen and squeezing out excess moisture with a sponge.
After it sits for a bit, they bake the pieces in ovens on low heat to dry the paper out.
Using the recycled paper, students created a “freedom quilt” in honor of Fort Stewart’s 3rd ID. Each of the quilt squares were made using 100 percent recycled paper and the finished product is now on display in SGMS’s front hallway.
“It’s fun,” Catherine Willis, 12, said of the project. “You know that you’re doing it for a good cause. It makes you want to give more and more, but you have to start out small.”
Blackburn’s classroom is dotted with plastic bins and clear garbage bags filled with colored shredded paper, waiting to be blended into a mushy mass and baked.
“They get excited about it,” said Blackburn of her students’ enthusiasm. “We really want to teach them as young as possible to take care of the Earth.”
In addition to the completed quilt, the seventh-grade classes are working on recycled postcards to send to troops overseas. A shipment of about 60 cards will go out next week, Blackburn said. She also said she is excited to hear back from the troops, if time allows them to respond.
“We’re always supporting our soldiers because a lot of our students come from military families,” Hullum said.
The class also is working on a Snelson-Golden-themed quilt that depicts school spirit. Students will display it for school visitors.
The Earth-friendly class and quilt recently were featured on WTOC.

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