After-school programs collect beads for Arc

Photo provided by Community Works -- Students presented art created from recycled Mardi Gras beads to Arc. From left are Allia Grace, Sadie Daniel, Shiloh Sanders, Arc Director Margie Perez, Ryan McCray-Smith and Valiant Cuiellette.
Photo provided by Community Works -- Students presented art created from recycled Mardi Gras beads to Arc. From left are Allia Grace, Sadie Daniel, Shiloh Sanders, Arc Director Margie Perez, Ryan McCray-Smith and Valiant Cuiellette.

Students from two New Orleans after-school programs collected and presented more than 600 dozen recycled Mardi Gras beads to Arc of Greater New Orleans, along with two art pieces made out of beads.

The beads were collected by the Community Works after-school program at the International School of Louisiana and the Partnership for Youth Development CP3 Afterschool Zone at KIPP Central City Primary. The Arc helps people with intellectual disabilities with programs including bead sorting and sales.

“Go kids!” said Margie Perez, recycling coordinator with Arc. “It makes me hopeful when I see young kids understand that there is a real need for recycling. They see all these beads that otherwise wind up in the landfills and know that by donating them to the Arc, they are making a positive impact on the environment while helping people with intellectual disabilities.”

This is the second year Community Works students in kindergarten through eighth grade participated in the service-learning initiative, Recycle Krewe.

“Recycle Krewe allowed our youth to learn about reusing and recycling in a creative way,” said Todd Shaffer, site director at the International School of Louisiana. “Presenting this display to Arc and having the students see the impact of their work as a way of giving back is crucial to Community Works’ programming and service-learning initiatives.”

“The CP3 Afterschool Zone students really enjoyed being a part of the Recycle Krewe,” said Megan McLain, projects coordinator for the Partnership for Youth Development. “It was especially unique in that the students were able to lead a recycling service at their school and see the impact it can make on an organization like Arc.”

The Recycle Krewe project starts after Mardi Gras and culminates on or near Global Youth Service Day, April 26, which recognizes the positive impact that young people have on their communities year-round.