The members of the Cockrill Middle School Recycling Club are doing their part to make the future a little greener.

Their efforts to promote the responsible use of resources on their campus and in the surrounding community have earned Cockrill Middle School the title of Texas Junior School of the Year from National Energy Educational Development (NEED).

With that honor, the Recycling Club has been invited to attend the Youth Awards Program for Energy Achievement in Washington, D.C. to be held June 22-25.

NEED selected the Cockrill Middle School Recycling Club based upon a scrapbook the group submitted chronicling their activities this year.

“In September, we entered a [WFAA] contest to make a video that would educate community members on the adverse effects of polluting the Trinity River and its tributaries,” Lisa Wilson, science teacher and Recycling Club advisor at Cockrill Middle School, said in a news release. “Our video offered five ways to prevent the pollution of the river.”

On campus, the Recycling Club took part in the Cool School Challenge and educated teachers about energy-saving strategies for their classrooms. They also held an “energy carnival” during Open House that featured conservation-themed games.

Perhaps most importantly, the Recycling Club has impacted the day-to-day habits of their fellow students. Every day at lunch, club members roll out recycling bins and encourage their peers to use them.

“We have taught so many of the kids here that recycling is important,” said Wilson. “Our recycling bins are used as much as the trash cans!” Each Thursday, club members haul those bins out to the curb for pick-up. 

Wilson said that her students were thrilled when they received word of their selection to represent Texas middle schools at the Youth Awards Program for Energy Achievement in Washington, D.C. “They all screamed really loud. It was a funny moment,” she said.

NEED covers the cost of three students to travel to Washington, D.C., and Wilson said that she is thankful for the help of the Cockrill Middle School PTO and the McKinney ISD Science Department. Thanks to their financial support, most of the club members will be able to participate in the trip.

Cockrill Middle School Principal Dr. Melinda DeFelice said, “I'm so proud of our Cowboys and our sponsor, Lisa Wilson! Without her enthusiasm and commitment, this would not have happened. I love that our kids are learning how important recycling is at such a young age.”

Said Wilson, “I have run other clubs previously, but I can tell you I have never seen the commitment and concern that these kids have. I love this club.”


About the author: Shane Mauldin is an MISD communications specialist.