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Kishwaukee students collect cans, donate to disaster relief while learning about recycling


​​​​​​​Kishwaukee Elementary School third graders are collecting aluminum cans for disaster relief. They will turn in those cans during a field trip Tuesday to Behr Iron and Metal. The trip will offer lessons in recycling and the environment that align with the students’ science and learning standards. 

Jim Barbagallo of Behr Iron & Metal said the company usually offers 50 cents per pound of cans, but will offer 65 cents per pound Tuesday to Kishwaukee students. They will match the offer for any can donations from the community, targeted to Kishwaukee. The company told students they could use the money for their classroom. Instead, they wanted to donate it to disaster relief in the Philippines. 

The trip is also tied to one of the RPS Readiness Rocks – Career and College Readiness. During the tour, Behr representatives will tell students about jobs in the iron and metal industry and the education and training needed. College and Career Readiness is being taught at all grade levels at Kishwaukee, with guest speakers from the medical field, fire science, and Rock Valley College, Rockford University and Rockford Career College. 

Kishwaukee Principal Aimee Kasper said she’s excited for her students to make the connections to recycling and see how the plant works. Even more heartwarming is the pledge from Behr to pay her students for the cans. “They’re helping my students help others,” Kasper said. 

How to help: The community is welcome to donate cans to Kishwaukee Elementary School, 526 Catlin St., by Monday afternoon (Nov. 25), or directly to Behr on Tuesday, 1100 Seminary St. 

About the tour: Barbagallo describes the event as a Jurassic Park-type tour with machines crumpling metals. Students are encouraged to react to the dinosaur-like machines pulling apart cars and other metal pieces. It’s both entertaining and educational, Barbagallo said. ​

Media: If you’d like to attend the tour, the bus leaves Kishwaukee at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 26 and will return at 10:30 a.m. The tour will be guided on an RPS school bus – please plan to ride that bus, as additional vehicles will not be permitted on the tour. Please RSVP with Principal Aimee Kasper: 815-966- 3380 or [email protected]