CLARK, NJ - Hehnly K-Kids, a community service organization at Frank K. Hehnly Elementary School in Clark, recently participated in a charitable and environmental project.  Hehnly families participated in The Crayon Initiative.  The project  asks families to collect used and unwanted crayons. Once turn in, the crayons are melted down and remanufactured as a way to reduce environmental waste.

According to school officials, more than a half million pounds (60 million) of crayons are discarded annually turning into a waxy sludge that clogs landfills and never biodegrade. The recycled crayons are distributed to art programs at children's hospitals across the country for young patients during their stay. This program is designed to provide young patients with a creative outlet to express themselves while at the same time helping alleviate anxiety.

Hehnly School Nurse and K-Kids Advisor Donna Kircher spoke about the student that started the drive.  “Hehnly School collected 138 lbs. of crayons. Isabel Mazzarella, a member of K-Kids and third grader, worked very hard on this project," said Kircher.  "With her mom's help, a message was posted on Facebook to drop crayons off to her home, she collected 39 lbs of crayons."

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Kircher continued, "I find these drives meaningful when our students can connect and see the importance of helping others their age. We became crayon advocates and shared our colors.”

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