reycled coats

11020650 Blue Coats
C. Todd Sherman
Carver Elementary School students line up for a photo in the school’s gym Thursday wearing coats made of recycled bottles that they had collected in the spring. The school got 2,000 of the fleece garments. The rest will go to five local charities that will distribute them to needy children.

11020651 Blue Coats
C. Todd Sherman
The floor of the gym at Carver Elementary School was awash in blue Thursday as students donned recycled coats for a Return The Warmth program photo op. The program turns recycled plastic bottles into fleece jackets.

11020652 Blue Coats
C. Todd Sherman
City of Tupelo environmental coordinator Sherrie Cochran speaks to Carver Elementary School students Thursday about their part in the Return The Warmth program, which turns recycled plastic bottles into fleece jackets.

Kids recycle bottles into coats
• Carver Elementary students win $1,000 grant for their efforts.

By Emily Le Coz
Daily Journal
TUPELO – Electric-blue fleece jackets aren’t the hip new fashion trend among kids these days, but there’s good reason if you suddenly see them everywhere.
Thanks to the efforts of Carver Elementary School children, the school Thursday received 2,000 of the garments to distribute among themselves and to needy children through five area charities.
They were made from recycled soda and milk bottles the students collected as part of the Return the Warmth competition last spring. Carver placed 13th out of hundreds of schools across the nation. The top 50 schools got jackets and a $1,000 grant from Sam’s Club, Aquafina and Keep America Beautiful.
Tupelo High School, Pierce Street and Church Street elementary schools also competed.
“You collected 1,230 pounds of plastic,” said city environmentalist Sherrie Cochran to Carver students during an assembly at the school. Cochran praised the children for their efforts before announcing that they each would receive a jacket.
Kids erupted in applause as their teachers opened cardboard boxes containing the clothes. Within minutes, the entire gymnasium turned blue as each child donned a jacket.
“I’m pretty excited,” said sixth grader Allie Mitchell as she rubbed the fleece. “I brought in about 200 bottles, because I have a pretty big family, and I drank lots of Cokes.”
Also attending were Mayor Ed Neelly, schools superintendent Randy McCoy and Buzz Bee.
“This is something that we all can be proud of,” Carver principal Larry Harmon told the assemblage. “We are proud of you for what you’ve done.”
The other coats will be distributed to children through the Salvation Army, Boys & Girls Clubs of North Mississippi, Gardner Simmons Home for Girls, Families First and the Tupelo Housing Authority.

Contact Daily Journal city reporter Emily Le Coz at 678-1588 or emily.lecoz@djournal.com