LA's BEST Students Kick off Healthy Habits Challenge for Earth Week

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Yesterday, nearly 15,000 students from the LA's BEST After School Enrichment Program began the 2014 Go H2O! Challenge. Created through a partnership between the plastics industries of the American Chemistry Council (ACC) and LA's BEST, the program will educate students about the importance of drinking water for healthy living and the earth-friendly benefits of recycling plastics.

At an event at Burton Street Elementary School in Los Angeles, students took part in lessons and activities that demonstrated how important it is to recycle plastics and other materials to protect the environment. They were joined by representatives who spoke about the positive behaviors students are bringing to their communities.

"ACC is proud to support programs that educate kids about their role in protecting our environment. When students learn about recycling through hands on activities, we know the message reaches them," said Sherri McCarthy, manager of state affairs, American Chemistry Council. "We want to provide them with easy-to-use recycling tips that they can share with their families, friends and peers."

As part of the Go H2O! Challenge, students are invited to take part in the "Your Health, Your Planet" poster competition to showcase their understanding of "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle," through their artwork. Winners and finalists from last year's contest were featured in a colorful 2014-2015 calendar. This year's winning poster will be announced in May and featured on an upcoming calendar and the Plastics. Too Valuable to Waste. Recycle. website (2valuable2waste.com/).

ACC provided LA's BEST participants at 95 sites with reusable and recyclable water bottles. The bottles remind students to make a habit of reusing their water bottles while choosing water instead of sugary drinks. Throughout the program, students learn about the importance of recycling plastics and drinking water while tracking progress with their classmates.

"Our partnership with ACC helps us to instill behaviors that lead to healthy lifestyles and sustainable living," said Edith Ballesteros-Vargas, director of BEST Fit at LA's BEST. "We can't wait to see the students' imagination and artistic skills through the poster contest. We are very lucky to have programs like the Go H2O! Challenge."

Since 2009, the Go H2O! Challenge has helped tens of thousands of students learn about the importance of recycling and keeping plastics out of the environment. LA's BEST is a partner in the statewide recycling awareness campaign, Plastics. Too Valuable to Waste. Recycle. The campaign launched in 2009 when representatives from the California Department of Parks and Recreation, ACC, and Keep California Beautiful initiated a recycling program at State Parks sites in the Los Angeles and Central Coast areas. The program soon spread to State Parks sites in San Diego, Monterey, and Santa Cruz along with the City of Woodland.

Source: American Chemistry Council, americanchemistry.com