Pares Primary student is star of JCI Antigua’s ‘Recycle and Create’ competition, with a ballgown that steals the show

The winners of the “Recycle and Create” Primary School Competition, hosted by JCI Antigua, have been announced.

The competition, which was held in celebration of World Environment Day, challenged school-age children to be creative with recyclable materials.

Eighty-four students from 12 primary schools displayed their innovative art pieces, made entirely from such materials, at the Multipurpose Cultural and Exhibition Centre last Friday, March 18.

Pares Primary copped several awards, including the overall winner, second place, and the school with the most entries.

That school’s Alina George “was victorious with a brilliantly designed ball gown made entirely from plastic bags, plastic spoons, and cups, with an accompanying handbag,” which stole the show, the JCI says.

Alina was able to explain her competition piece and spoke on the importance of recycling.

For her winning effort, she receives a laptop, an art kit, a school bag filled with supplies, movie tickets and a trophy made entirely from recyclable material.

Shemarie Williams, the second-place winner, was also from Pares Primary, while Leon Edwards from the Old Road Primary and A’Jmarie Davis from Divine Academy placed third and fourth, respectively.

Williams received a tablet, a school bag filled with supplies, and movie tickets, while the third- and fourth-placed competitors received baskets of supplies and other prizes.

Every student also received a token and a certificate of participation.

Further, the five top-placed students will attend a plastic-waste manufacturing workshop that is hosted by Billy Gernertt of the West Indies Sail Heritage Foundation.

Ministry of Education officials who attended the awards ceremony say that “Recycle, Reduce, Reuse” is very relevant, and the competition serves as a reinforcement of the students’ curriculum.

“There is no denying that waste is an enormous contributor to climate change,” says Shenique Barry, President of JCI Antigua, which has been “leading the charge” in sustaining the environment.

Accordingly, Barry says, recycling should be taught at an early age and ingrained as a necessary step to preserving our planet.

The initiative, described as the largest of its kind, was a collaborative project between  JCI Antigua’s Environmental Awareness Program and its Youth Empowerment Program.