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SEHS Science Club gets a colorful task for turtles
09.08 crayons for turtles
South Effingham High School science club members Ken Mosley, Selina Jonas, Clifford Brown, Ashley Jeffers and Colton Williams display some of the crayons they have collected to benefit the Sea Turtle Center scholarship program. - photo by Photo by Sandi Van Orden

The South Effingham High School Science Club is collecting used crayons to benefit the Georgia Sea Turtle Center.

Mary Owens, the advisor for the club, learned about the project during the summer.

“I attended a summer course through Georgia Southern University on using the Georgia Sea Turtle Center for teachers, and while there, I learned that they do the recycling program with crayons,” she said. “And the crayons are used to benefit the scholarship program that they have for schools and other organizations who cannot afford to come to the Turtle Center it pays for their funding.”

She said she thought it was something neat the club could do.

“Our club needs to do some community service, and this is something that is science-related, something that you can do in any community setting, and something that we can take countywide — not just in our high school. We can branch out and reach out to a lot of people,” Owens said.

Crayons were donated when the club went to Wal-Mart on a Saturday, said Ashley Jeffers. They then gave the new crayons that were donated to elementary schools in exchange for used crayons.

The club’s drive cleared out the crayon aisle, Clifford Brown said. Colton Williams aid people would donate if they were asked.

“We just sat out there and said we’re collecting used crayons,” he said.

They would ask people as they were going into the store, and on their way out, people would donate multiple boxes of crayons. By the time the group left, the store was sold out of 24-pack crayon boxes.

The students collected about 2,500 new crayons in four hours and a bin full of used crayons. They also received $44 that was sent directly to the scholarship fund.

Ken Mosley said they had to tell people about the program and the center.

“We had to explain the process,” he said, adding they had to tell people about the program and the sea turtle center. “We would say, ‘this will help the sea turtle center.’”

Jeffers recently visited the center.

“I got to see all the sea turtles and got to learn all the different things,” she said. “At the beginning they hand you a card, and you get to go as a sea turtle. You get to see if your egg makes it to the land, and you see how long you live. It’s pretty fun and you have interactive and hands on activities to do with it. You get to go to the sea turtle center in the hospital section, and you actually get to see the sea turtles that they’re working with, and the baby sea turtles.”

The students are peeling the crayons. Those crayons will be melted down and made into a crayon the shape of a sea turtle. Those will be sold at the sea turtle center’s gift shop, with the proceeds going to the sea turtle center.