House Creek Elementary School third-grader Jaden Carswell reuses old newspaper and a hanger to create a door wreath.

What do you do with your old newspapers that have piled up over the holidays? Certainly, you can pitch them in the recycle container. But third-grade students at House Creek Elementary School are turning old newspapers into works of art.

Traditionally, newspapers are the largest component by weight and volume of a curbside recycling program. Students in teacher Julian Harris’ class are repurposing the mounds of paper to decorate their hallways through a science lesson on recycling.

Each student received a metal hanger and some old newspapers, Harris said.

“The students are reusing objects that perhaps they could not find another use for. So instead of throwing the items away and adding to the landfill, we instead are creating paper wreaths and helping save the environment.”

The class began by cutting the newspaper into small pieces the shape of peanuts. Once they accumulated enough pieces, students stretched out their metal hangers into the shapes of circles and began wrapping the newspaper around the hanger, twisting the top to hold it firmly on the hanger.

With the hanger in one hand and the paper in the other, it sometimes took some extra hands to twist on the paper, said third-grader Payton Lochner.

“Helping my friend and my friends helping me was a great way to complete our work through teamwork,” Lochner said.

Harris continued to explain that if people do not recycle, landfills will become full causing increased pollution and habitat destruction.

“This is not a good thing for our wildlife friends or for all of us,” Harris said. “We all have to do our part and try to help save our environment.”

To learn how to make a paper wreath for the upcoming Valentine’s Day or Easter holidays, go to

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