DUNLAP — An initiative to fund the cost of several playground benches while helping keep plastic caps out of the landfill led to a project that will benefit Concord Intermediate School students and staff for years to come.

Last fall, Concord Intermediate School students, aided by community supporters, began the process of collecting plastic caps to create benches for the school.

To create a bench, groups must collect 200 pounds of caps. Once collected, the caps are turned in and benches are created by Green Tree Plastics in Evansville using recycled materials. Each bench costs $300 to manufacture.

The Dunlap Lion’s Club covered the cost of the first three benches for Concord Intermediate School. In addition, Goshen-based Troyer Foods assisted by hauling the caps to Evansville and returning with the benches, saving staff from having to make the six-hour, one-way drive to Evansville, science teacher Ryan Prahl said.

So far, four benches have been made and the Concord team has enough caps collected to order a fifth bench this summer. Three of the benches will be placed in front of the building along with plants, shrubs and flowers. The fourth bench, along with any future benches, will be placed near the playground for students to be able to sit and talk.

“Our students have told us that they wish they had places to sit and hang out,” Prahl said. “We are pleased that this project will help make that possible.”

In addition, Concord Intermediate School students and staff signed up for the Green School Initiative of Elkhart County, where teams complete challenges each semester to be more green as a school.

“Not only are our students becoming more aware and trying to work to save resources, energy, and money, but they give cash prizes for the number of challenges we are able to complete,” Prahl said.

The CIS Green Team, a group of staff members tasked with running the program, accomplished several recycling challenges and earned a total of 4 points. Those points translate into a cash prize of $1,000 to spend on things for the school. This money may be used to pay for the manufacturing of future benches, unless another sponsor steps in and is able to help offset the price.

Source: Concord Community Schools


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