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Students, seniors go 'Full Cycle'

Posted: March 9, 2009 12:42 a.m.
Updated: March 9, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Seniors and students join forces to save the environment through a "Full Cycle" recycling effort at Canyon High School and the SCV Senior Center. Tracy Hauser, the visionary behind "Full Cycle," hopes to empower students and seniors to raise and share the funds they need and to protect the environment in the process.

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Laughter, warm conversation, focus and fun permeate the Canyon High School classroom as seniors from the SCV Senior Center and students of Canyon High's National Art Honor Society huddle over large cardboard boxes.

The proverbial generation gap is nonexistent as students and seniors merge their creativity to decorate dozens of recycle containers.

Students, seniors and recycling all have come "Full Cycle," which is a grassroots recycling program uniting seniors and students for mutual benefit - as well as to benefit the environment.

"Full Cycle" is the brainchild of Tracy Hauser who saw more than empty plastic bottles on the Canyon High School campus.

She saw the forest and the trees - the recyclables and the students and elderly who could benefit from them.

Hauser's vision was to empower both groups to raise and share funds they so desperately need and to protect the environment in the process.

Hauser invited officials from the Senior Center and Canyon High's assistant principal Pete Getz to join her in devising a plan for implementation.

Chris Fall of Advantage Disposal donated the receptacles (which will be placed in classrooms and at the SCV Senior Center) and offered to keep a "monetary tab" of all recycling brought in for the benefit of the Senior Center and Canyon High School.

Dunn Edwards donated paint, and the Los Angeles Conservation Corps offered pick up of recyclables and delivery to Advantage Disposal.

On this sunny winter morning a bird auspiciously flies into the classroom, undoubtedly approving of the colorful cardboard masterpieces and what they symbolize. It is remarkable what happens when youth and seniors interact and connect. Pete Getz, assistant principal and a strong proponent for the environment, remarks:

"This is awesome, to see our students with the seniors," said Getz. "There are kids outside talking about how cool it is."

Student Colby Greening said he is excited "to be a part of community and put forth a contribution."

The Senior Center hopes other schools and individuals will join "Full Cycle" to help students and seniors.

The senior, student bonding at the event was evident by the positive remarks made by both seniors and students.

"This is so much fun," said senior Diane Hill. "Can we do this again?"

Students offered to visit the Senior Center, and paint there next time.

For more information on the SCV Senior Center and programs and activities call (661) 259-9444.

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