Recycling contest aids chemotherapy patients

Mrs. Hall and her class show off their work in collecting water bottle caps for the chemotherapy project.  Morton Elementary students raised over 26,000 caps during the contest.

Ann Hill

Mrs. Hall and her class show off their work in collecting water bottle caps for the chemotherapy project. Morton Elementary students raised over 26,000 caps during the contest.

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When Mrs. Hall heard that water bottle caps could be recycled to provide chemotherapy treatments to pediatric cancer patients, she knew she had to find a way to participate.

She explained to her class that collecting bottle caps could help children with cancer get treatment and her first-grade class was “on it”. They arranged a competition between classes to collect the most caps. Fifteen hundred caps would provide one chemotherapy treatment. The class ultimately collected 26,306 bottle caps, enough for 17 treatments. Mrs. Hall’s class collected 4328, Ms. Brown’s class turned in 3329, and Ms. McKnight’s class brought 2387. The highest individual count of 6165 caps went to staff member Rosailee Olivas.

The project was a learning experience in math, recycling, empathy and citizenship. The students counted caps by evens and odds, 5’s, 10’s, 20’s, 50’s, 100’s and 1000’s. Every Friday was cap counting day. Mrs. Hall offered to buy prizes for winning classes, but the class decided that it was their responsibility to help others and that helping someone should be prize enough.

Ann Hill
Classes work to count the bottle caps collected during the contest.

Projects like this are near and dear to Mrs. Hall’s heart because she lost her sister Tiffany to breast cancer three years ago. Her previous school in Capitan, New Mexico participated in the “Dig Pink” program to raise awareness and provide help to cancer patients. The girls’ volleyball team wore “Dig Pink” team shirts and the boy’s football team wore pink all the way to their socks to promote cancer awareness. Mrs. Hall organized participation for volleyball. The whole school participated in fund raisers. The money raised was distributed through the Dig Pink Tiffany Fund. Together they raised $15,000 that was used to provide mammograms, wigs for patients who had lost their hair, and assistance to help pay utility bills and purchase necessities.

Mrs. Hall learned about the recycling effort through her daughter who is in nursing school. The person who organized the effort has moved on and the project has been concluded. Morton Elementary staff and students were happy to participate and are ready for another challenge.