The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Sandia gets into recycling


October 23, 2019

Walking into Sandia Elementary the other day, I was noticeably struck by how spotless and sparkling everything was. Not only is this clearly attributable to Sandia’s amazing custodians, but I learned more was going on.

It’s not every day one gets called to a school to talk to a teacher who just wants to brag on a colleague and the impact that colleague’s been making.

Gina Rubio, fourth-grade teacher at Sandia, contacted us to talk about the amazing recycling program they’ve been doing for the last couple of years. Begun by second-grade teacher Lynn Davis, the program has grown with increasing numbers of students becoming involved.

The Sandia Recycling project is after school and strictly voluntary. Students who volunteer have been assisting Davis over a period of time now. Davis and her diminutive team circulate through the school checking recycle bins, collecting, and processing.

Rubio described Davis and her recycle team’s efforts: “It’s just increasingly struck me that the kids involved with the recycle program feel so important that they’re doing such an important job. It’s become bigger than just the school.”

Those students participating take enormous pride in their work, a pride that continues to grow. Rubio continued: “Lynn Davis has really inspired the kids, and it’s noticeably helped our school culture become increasingly positive. The kids really love doing this.”

Apparently, as the team moves through the school collecting cardboard, or whatever else is being recycled, the students relish using their communications skills, interacting with other teachers and students.

Remarking on the noticeable difference in the students’ demeanors, Rubio felt strongly that this positive should be celebrated; “The students talk about being ‘kind to our school’ and the benefits of recycling, and they simply take great pride in their work.”

The awareness has spread through the classrooms, and all have become more cognizant about taking care of the school’s resources, keeping classrooms a bit more tidy.

Sometimes Sandia’s custodians have left notes for the recycle team, complimenting them on their efforts and how they’re appreciated. “The kids love this and take even more pride in their work,” Rubio continued; “every once in a while the custodians have also left treats for the kids, too, which thrills them even more, of course.”

Rubio summed it all up by stating: “Ms. Davis has definitely increased our ‘glorious kindness’ all over the school.”

What a concept.

Cindy Kleyn-Kennedy is the instructional technology coordinator for Clovis Municipal Schools. She can be reached at:

[email protected]


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