From trash to haute couture – JCI Antigua ‘Recycle and Create’ competition scores high

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Pares Primary School won several awards including the most entries
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To aid in the annual celebration of World Environment Day each June, JCI Antigua hosted a ‘Recycle and Create’ primary school competition, challenging school-age children to be creative with recyclable materials.

The competition witnessed scores of youngsters from primary schools throughout Antigua displaying their innovative art pieces made entirely from recycled materials at the Multipurpose, Cultural and Exhibition Centre on March 18.

The initiative, the largest of its kind, was a collaboration between JCI Antigua Environmental Awareness Programme (EAP) and the JCI Antigua Youth Empowerment Programme (YEP). A total of 12 primary schools participated, with 84 registered students competing.

Pares Primary School copped several awards including the overall winner, second place, and the school with the most entry.

Alina George, from Pares Primary School, was victorious with a brilliantly designed ball gown made entirely from plastic bags, plastic spoons, and cups. Her creativity stole the show as she modelled the environmentally friendly dress, with an accompanying handbag also made from recycled materials. Alina diligently explained her competition piece and spoke on the importance of recycling.

Shemarie Willaims, also from Pares Primary School, placed second, while Leon Edwards from Old Road Primary School and A’Jmarie Davis from Divine Academy placed third and fourth respectively.

Education Officer from the Ministry of Education, Ms Burton congratulated the committee for a “well-executed project”.

“Commendation to JCI Antigua for a project like this, one that is included in the curriculum. “Recycle, Reduce, Reuse is very relevant and this competition serves as a reinforcement to which the students are practicing,” Ms Burton stated during the awards ceremony.

The Education Officer also commended JCI Antigua for “leading the charge” in sustaining the environment.

President of JCI Antigua Shenique Barry remarked, “There is no denying that waste is an enormous contributor to climate change. Especially for our children, recycling should be something taught early on and ingrained as a necessary step to preserving our planet.

“Teaching children to recycle is a good way to help ensure that the upcoming generations will grow up appreciating our planet and understand their role in preserving it.”

Chairman of EAP Turkessa Potter and Chairman of YEP Tamorla Milette expressed their gratitude to the schools who participated.

The winner of this year’s Recycle and Create competition received a laptop, an art kit, a school bag filled with school supplies and movie tickets, and a trophy made entirely from recyclable material, compliments Andrew Phillip, from Big Red Designs.

The second-place participant received a tablet, a school bag filled with supplies, and movie tickets. Third and fourth place winners both received baskets filled with school supplies and other trinkets. Each participant received a token of participation and a certificate of participation.

The top five students will also attend a plastic waste manufacturing workshop hosted by West Indies Sail Heritage Foundation’s Billy Gernertt.

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