A Calhoun County Middle School science teacher started a small recycling program, to teach her students about keeping the environment clean.
But as Newschannel 7's Vanessa Nguyen tells us, the effort has grown, to include a lesson in humanity.
That's one more crushed can to add to the big pile. Students at Carr Middle School went through three full boxes and crushed 234 cans on Thursday; they admit however, they used to be litterbugs.
"I actually did throw stuff out the window before,” said Carr Middle School Student, Kayla Prowant.
Jacob O'Brien , Carr Middle School Student said he used to throw stuff, "On the road...out in the woods, just put paper on the ground."
Think globally, act locally is a catchphrase that Tiffany Nichols has taught her students to embrace. She first got the recycling idea from her husband and it began with plastics.
"We noticed that it cut our roadside garbage down by about half...and now, we have so little garbage that we're considering cancelling our garbage service," said Tiffany Nichols, Carr Middle School Teacher.
In less than six months, the school has come so close to reaching their goal of 6,000 cans that they have increased their goal to 10,000. Nichols says her students do all of the work, from collecting, counting and bagging them for storage.
NewsChannel Channel 7’s orter Vanessa Nguyen, "Students not only crush the cans and recycle them, they also pop the tabs off and donate them to Hannah's project."
"Tabs for Hannah" began shortly after the program took off. Four large-gallon jugs sit in the center of the school lunchroom. So far they've collected more than 71,000 tabs. Karen Pitts' mother-in-law thought of the idea and has spent more than 6-hours counting each one.
"This whole project is just a small thing that we can do that will reap great rewards for everyone involved, not just for our students, but for Hannah and the kids at the Shriner's Hospital. We need to teach kids to care about each other."
That's the biggest lesson Nichols hopes her students will learn--and it seems to be working.
"People making people happy, it just makes you feelhappy inside...it makes you want to help others more...it's actually helping the world and if everybody participated, we'd all make the world cleaner and better."
Nichols recently wrote an online proposal for 4-rubbermaid recycling containers; she found out Wednesday that she her proposal was accepted and she will be receiving the money to buy the containers.