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Elementary Student Effort Prompts International Corporation To Recycle

August 13, 2012

By Mark Prado | Marin Independent Journal

Efforts by students at Sun Valley Elementary School in San Rafael, California to push a company to give consumers a way to recycle felt-tip markers has paid unexpected dividends.

Earlier this year about 40 students and their volunteer adviser launched “Crayola: Make Your Mark!” — a campaign via to prod the Crayola Co. of Easton, Pa. to start a recycling program for used markers. More than 80,000 people across the country signed the petition.

Crayola officials applauded the effort, but said the company had no way to facilitate the request.

Mr. Land’s “Kids That Care” from Sun Valley School have started a petition drive to recycle Crayola markers. (Photo by Doug Carlton)

But officials at the school and art supply company Dixon Ticonderoga heard about the children’s petition to their competitor, and were inspired to develop their own recycling project.

The program will allow schools to mail the company’s line of Prang Art Markers — free of charge — back to Heathrow, Fla.-based Dixon Ticonderoga for recycling.

“The students will be very excited when they come back to school,” said Land Wilson, who volunteers at Sun Valley to help with the student group, called Kids that Care. Two of his children also attend the school. “They are clearly accomplishing something and this was unexpected.”

Kids Who Care is comprised of children from kindergarten to fifth grade.

Dixon Ticonderoga announced its new art supply recycling program on Wednesday.

In a statement, Timothy Gomez, Dixon Ticonderoga’s CEO, cited the students at Sun Valley, saying “this shows that even one classroom can change the way a global company does business.” Gomez plans to meet with the students and thank them for the campaign that inspired the company’s recycling program. The company will provide a year’s supply of Prang Art Markers to the school as well.

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