Albany Academy children collect cans to plant a tree

Susan said that her and Christian did not collect cans and bottles from any neighbors, but mostly from relatives in their family. The containers were not limited to soda containers, but included juice and other drink containers.

There were no restrictions. The cans and bottles simply had to be recyclable.

"I think it was good for him to see how other things can create carbon dioxide," said Susan.

The six students in Mahar's class learned that the tree they would be purchasing with the profits from their cans would produce carbon dioxide.

According to Mahar, as the amount of money earned increases each year, the tree the class is able to purchase gets nicer. This year's magnolia tree came from Maple Lane Nursery in Valatie.

Mahar said that while the nursery employees delivered the tree, and dug the hole for the tree, the children actually took part in planting the tree themselves.

"I helped plant [the tree]," said Christian, who said he got a little dirty when digging in the dirt.

Aside from carbon dioxide, Christian said that recycling can also turn other objects into new things. "Like, if you recycled metal bottles it could make a scooter," he said.

As the children planted the tree, they sang to a radio playing the song, "What a Wonderful World," to which Mahar said the children knew every word from learning it in class. Through the recycling program, Mahar tries to teach the children about global diversity and how to make the world a better place to live.

While Christian will not be collecting cans for Mahar's class tree next year (he said he can't because he will no longer be in kindergarten and will be in the first grade) he does plan to continue to recycle. ""

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