Second-grader Peyton Douglas flips through a paperback to see what grade category it belongs to while fourth-grader Olivia Gomez, second-grader Madolyne Daigle and first-grader Jasmine Johnson help organize the books Friday in preparation for Loyd's "Green Week."

FORT BENNING, Ga. - "Can you LRAP' Yes, we can!" The signs started appearing in the hallways of Loyd Elementary School about three weeks ago. Students tried to guess what LRAP stood for by asking their teachers for hints. Then the secret was out.

"Loyd recycles all paper," said 8-year-old Blayne Weaver, one of more than 450 kids at Loyd who know the slogan by heart.

Blayne said the best part about recycling is "that you don't have to throw (anything) away."

"It's kind of fun to recycle," he said. "We're keeping our world all healthy."

Students reinforced the "one man's trash is another's treasure" concept during Green Week, which kicked off Monday, by exchanging books. For each gently used book they brought to school, the children could receive another book in exchange.

Blayne said he had six books ready before the week even started. So far, the kids have brought in more than 350 books.

The LRAP slogan was designed to get students curious about what recycling means and then to encourage them to be a part of the recycling effort, said Katherine Walker, a kindergarten teacher at Loyd who coordinates the school's annual Green Week.

"If we can get it instilled in them now, then it will grow and become a lifelong habit," she said. "The premise is that no piece of paper at Loyd will be thrown into the trash. It's just as easy to drop it into a recycling bin as it is to drop it into a trashcan. We're just trying to get that idea across that paper can be made into other things, such as newspapers, greeting cards, napkins, toilet paper, paper bags and writing paper."

Green activities - and recycling in general - has been a tradition at Loyd for several years, she said.

The celebration used to be only one day, around the time of Earth Day, but three years ago it expanded to further encourage environmental responsibility.

This year's activities at Loyd include a tree planting, an assembly and themed readings. An LRAP box for children to recycle their paper is located in each room.

"This week is green week because we recycle to make the grass healthy and green," said 7-year-old Jasmine Johnson, a first-grader at Loyd. "If we recycle, we can reuse things (like) paper, bottles and plastic."

The faculty participated by exchanging books, too, said Maria Martinez, Loyd principal.

"This is an activity that the school as a whole is always involved in ... to make children aware of the need to protect our earth and our future," she said. "The younger they start, the better it is. We have to do as much recycling as we can, and we have to make them aware of that. They can (make a difference)."

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16