MULLICA HILL — Friends School in Mullica Hill was awarded a STEM prize for saving 53 pounds of crayons (0.7 pounds per student) from local landfills through The Great Crayon Cleanout, a new partnership between Bedtime Math Foundation and The Crayon Initiative.
The event helped kids learn basic math skills while working to save the environment and provide crayons to other children at local hospitals.
Friends School is one of the top 10 collecting schools per student, and will choose from one of three special STEM prizes donated by Bedtime Math: a drone, a 3D printer or a telescope. Nearly 75 elementary schools in 18 counties throughout New Jersey participated in the initiative, which ran in June. More than 25,000 kids joined the effort, saving 5,000 pounds of crayons from the landfill.
“Every year, over 500,000 pounds of broken crayons are discarded in landfills across the country,” said Laura Overdeck, founder of Bedtime Math. “Not only did we rescue thousands of crayons from becoming non-biodegradable sludge, but we encouraged kids to think about math in a meaningful way. We’re proud of everyone who participated, especially Friends School for their tremendous effort.”
As part of the event, kids counted, sorted and played fun math games with unwanted crayons they collected from their homes and classrooms. The Crayon Initiative will melt down the discarded crayons to manufacture new packs, which will be donated to eleven New Jersey children’s hospitals. These include the Children’s Regional Hospital at Cooper, Voorhees Pediatric Facility and Children’s Specialized Hospital, to name a few.
“The work we do has significant impact on communities nationwide,” said Bryan Ware, founder of The Crayon Initiative. “We’re helping the environment, and providing children with the tools to unlock their artistic potential through hospital arts’ programs. We want to congratulate our winners, and extend our thanks to Bedtime Math for partnering with us in this initiative.”