(Editor's Note: Amaiana Sajjad is a senior at North Plainfield High School and an intern for TAPinto North Plainfield.) 

NORTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – The mission of the Hope Club at North Plainfield Middle and High School is to promote awareness of environmental issues and provide students with opportunities to make a change through service programs at school and throughout the community.

North Plainfield’s Hope Club, an extracurricular activity open to students in seventh through 12th grade, is run by co-advisors and North Plainfield High School (NPHS) science teachers Olga Wickerhauser and Kavita Pavan. There are currently 10 students involved, with meetings taking place every Wednesday after school in room 132.

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This year, the Hope Club has been working on starting a garden at the school and will be planting items in recycled bottles; in the past, students took field trips to out-of-town farms and gardens. Additionally, the club is also currently taking part in the Pepsico Recycling Rally, a national competition geared toward changing how students and teachers at K -12 schools across the country view waste and recycling. Through the initiative, valuable incentives and resources are provided to help make recycling easy, fun, and rewarding.

“Our school goal is to recycle 200,000 cans and bottles by the end of the school year,” said Wickerhauser, noting that aluminum cans, water bottles, juice bottles, and any other recyclable item with a ‘number 1’ label can be recycled for this specific rally.

To help meet this goal, members of the Hope Club have placed recycling boxes in each homeroom and, to garner support from fellow students, an in-house competition was also launched. Through the Hope Club-sponsored homeroom recycling competition, the homeroom that recycles the most items will be rewarded with breakfast from Dunkin Donuts. The homeroom competition, which began in November, runs through March 31 with the in-house recycling collection for the national rally running through June.

“This is my first year being apart of the Hope Club, and I learned the benefits of recycling,” said NPHS freshman Faith Williams. “It’s fascinating how, just by recycling, we can, help our environment so much more than we think.” 

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