Shelbyville students collect thousands of caps


Monday morning, groups of seventh graders at Moulton Middle School in Shelbyville sifted through plastic shopping bags and sorted out their contents.

Inside the bags were plastic caps of all kinds: caps from soda bottles, lids from peanut butter jars, spouts from ketchup bottles. This semester, these students have collected several hundred pounds of plastic caps and lids as part of a project for “Power Hour,” a class that teaches teamwork, problem solving and other skills.

This project has taught them so many skills that we don't always get to use in the classroom, or at least in a different way than we would use them in the normal classroom,” said teacher Jennifer Gergeni. “They've also had to talk about organization and really plan out how it is they are going to solve problems and then organize the whole situation."

The students plan to send the caps to a recycling company in Indiana where the plastic will be recycled and made into a bench for the school’s playground. Other schools have completed similar projects and called them “Buddy Benches” because the benches can provide a place for shy students to meet others.

“Since we have fourth and fifth graders in our building too, that really appeals to them, so … if they want somebody to play with but they don’t know how to approach someone, they can go sit on that bench and other kids know ‘Hey, they’d like somebody to play with and they can (invite them to play),” Gergeni said.

The students expect to have the bench completed in April.

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