The 4-H team at Gracepoint Christian Academy (GCA) received the Community Service Award at the Jackson Parish 4-H Awards night held in the banquet room of the Jackson Parish Golf Course Clubhouse this past week. Gabriel McMillan won a $500.00 scholarship given by Scott Tractor Supply as well as a $500.00 Jackson Parish 4-H scholarship and Nathan Shell was also given a $1000.00 foundation scholarship.
Honored for their years of participation in shooting sports were seniors McMillan, Shell and Shane Rowe who also received recognition for qualifying in the upcoming national shooting sports competition. Every child who participated in six hours a project time was recognized but perhaps the biggest round of applause was given when it was announced that Lisa Nunn was celebrating her 25th year as a 4-H leader.
With a focus of participating in a project that would help the environment the Jackson Parish the Gracepoint Christian Academy 4-H team put their heads together and came up with a unique idea. They decided to focus on a way to handle the ever-growing amount of water bottles that were being used in the school and had to be disposed of.
Inspired by the knowledge that there currently isn’t a recycling program in the parish and that all bottles being used at the school would be taken to the landfill which cost the school money, they came up with a bold idea that charted a new course for the school. They would eliminate the trash by spearheading an effort to have the school stop using all plastic water bottles.
“That was a very lofty goal for such a small group,” said Jackson Parish 4-H Director Christine Stepzinski.
As to be expected the effort met with some resistance at first. Undaunted, the worked hard to educate their fellow students and staff on the benefits that would be realized. The result was that from December to May, 11,000 less water bottles were taken to the landfill by GCA saving the school $1400.00 in expenses.
“I am very proud of what all of our team members accomplished this year,” said Stepzinski who is completing her first year as the Jackson Parish 4-H director. “I think we did a lot of good things in each of our schools and look forward to next year where we will build on this.”
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