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Children at the Youth Center Inc. make 'recyclable' tree ornaments made of cinnamon and applesauce.
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Youth Center Green Team Make Recycling Ornaments

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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The Green Team is a state-funded initiative to promote recycling and waste reduction by educating students. 
CHESHIRE, Mass. — The Youth Center Inc.'s Green Team members made ornaments for Northern Berkshire Solid Waste Management District members, commissioners, and vendors.
 
The gifts this year not only graced Christmas trees but offered a simple reminder: recycle.
 
"The kids had a great time, got a better understanding of recycling, separation, and dual stream processes," the waste district's Program Director Linda Cernik said. "We hope what the kids learn they bring home with a better understanding of recycling."
 
Thirteen towns in Berkshire County are members of the waste management district and earlier this year the district started the Green Team initiative and partnered with local schools.
 
The Green Team is a state educational program designed to empower students and teachers to help the environment through waste reduction, recycling, composting, energy conservation and pollution prevention.
 
Cernik said they started making the ornaments, which resemble recycling bins, in December. She said they are made out of cinnamon and applesauce.
 
Students learned about recycling and were asked, "what is recycling and what does it mean to you?"
 
Tristan, age 12, said, "It is when you reuse an old material that can be used for something newer and modern. Recycling highers your self-esteem and helps save the planet. You feel better when you do good things."
 
Madilyn, age 7, said, "It is where something that you don't use anymore goes somewhere and they make inventions with the garbage. You can recycle bottles and cans and make something out of it."
 
Ryan, age 12, said, "Recycling means putting paper in the bin. If you recycle you can save the earth."
 
Jewelz, age 8, said, Throwing stuff away could kill the trees and then the animals will die and we will have no food. You should recycle so this does not happen."
 
Cernik said the ornaments were given to district board members, vendors, residents, and even the North Adams City Council as the city is looking to rejoin the district.
 
The district has more in store for the Green Team and when the weather gets better, plans to take the children on a trip to the Cheshire Transfer Station. 

Tags: NBSWD,   recycling,   

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Berkshire Schools Awarded Financial Literacy Grant

CHESHIRE, Mass. — The State Treasurer's Office of Economic Empowerment (OEE), in partnership with the Division of Banks (DOB) and the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation (OCABR), announced the 2024 recipients of the Financial Education Innovation Fund Grant.
 
Following a competitive application process that concluded in November, the state agencies awarded grants to 59 schools, totaling $223,548. This funding will allow Massachusetts high schools and special education programs to host financial education fairs, known as Credit for Life Fairs, for their students.
 
Of the 59 recipient schools, 15 received funding as Seed Applicants and will host fairs for the first time, including for students in Agawam, Brighton, Brockton, Cambridge, Cheshire, Dorchester, Everett, Fall River, Fitchburg, Lexington, Lynn, Middleborough, Milton, and Springfield.
 
Hoosac Valley High School was awarded a $6400 seed grant and has requested additional funding due to DESE low-income status.
 
Mount Greylock Regional School was awarded a $1,260 innovation grant.
 
For the first time in the program's history, participating schools that have a large population of low-to-moderate income students will receive an additional $500. Ten schools received this additional funding to bring  financial education to students in the state's most vulnerable communities.
 
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