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Green students Do Something good

3/6/2014 - South Side Leader
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By Joyce Rainey Long

The Do Something Club at Green High School has been collecting jeans for local homeless shelters. Co-presidents Zachary Schreckenberger and Vicki Kelly, both seniors, are shown at left and second from left.
Senior Jonathan Hale helps recycle at his school as part of the club.
Photos: Joyce Rainey Long
GREEN — Students are doing something about social activism and volunteering at Green High School — they started the Do Something Club.

Seniors Zachary Schreckenberger and Vicki Kelly founded the Do Something Club, which got started this school year. The club now has 40 members in all four grades and meets once a week.

“We wanted to do something our senior year and we wanted to make a difference and make changes,” said Schreckenberger, adding he and Kelly discovered the organization on the Internet.

The Do Something Club at Green is part of the national DoSomething.org, which has 2.5 million members who are all younger than 25, according to its website, www.dosomething.org. Started in 1993 by actor Andrew Shue and his childhood friend, Michael Sanchze, it is the country’s largest not-for-profit for young people and social change, according to its website. The organization tackles causes such as bullying, animal cruelty, homelessness and cancer. According to the website, “DoSomething.org spearheads national campaigns so 13- to 25-year-olds can make an impact — without ever needing money, an adult or a car.”

At Green, the students have organized a district-wide recycling program, volunteered at the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank, collected jeans for the homeless, made valentines for the elderly and collected trash along the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail, according to co-presidents Schreckenberger and Kelly.

“They feel true ownership in the club and its activities,” said Principal Cindy Brown. “They are able to see how the club positively affects their school and community.”

Students can select their own projects or join with campaigns suggested by DoSomething.org, said Kelly.

“A lot of clubs say they’re doing things, but don’t ever do anything. We keep to the plan,” said senior Sarah Schreckenberger, twin sister of Zachary.

Recycling at school was one of the first projects Schreckenberger and Kelly chose for the club, and they met with school and city officials to propose this. Now, recycling has spread to all the school buildings in the district, said Brown.

“Recycling was intermittent, so we put one container in every classroom that recycles everything: paper, glass and aluminum,” said Kelly.

Club members empty the containers each week when they meet.

The recycling does not cost the school and is done through Kimble Cos., which has a contract with the city, according to Sarah Haring, community development administrator with the city of Green.

“Kimble is required to give back to the city,” said Haring, adding it is part of the contract. “Every time you recycle, you keep something out of a landfill and it becomes something else or is repurposed.”

The recycling program has taught staff and students about the value of recycling, said Brown.

“We’re making a difference each week,” said Zachary Schreckenberger. “It’s a neat way to work in conjunction with the city of Green.”

“We didn’t realize it was so easy to get things done,” added Kelly.

“The recycling containers are jammed full each week,” added senior Addie Hujar. “I think what we’re doing is really cool and we’re making a difference.”

Another project for the club was Teens for Jeans, through DoSomething.org. At Green, 251 pairs of gently used jeans for men, women and children were collected to donate to homeless shelters, said Valerie McKitrick, language arts teacher and club adviser.

During the past six years, 3.5 million pairs of jeans have been collected for homeless shelters with help from Aéropostale stores, according to DoSomething.org.

“These are amazing kids and they believe in the causes, said McKitrick.

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