Web Extra: Kitsap kids create a calendar to promote recycling

Kitsap County participated in the eighth annual America Recycles Day in the usual way, by putting out a call for young artists to illustrate an ecological theme and choosing 13 of them for inclusion in a calendar.

As in past years, kids participate and contribute honest and forthright ecological messages. The theme, “It all comes back to you,” was even recycled from 2005.

The difference this year, however, is that a lot more kids are participating.

“We had 478 kids submit their art this year,” said Educational Outreach Coordinator Pat Campbell, who directed the program. “This was 100 more than in past years. And all of the kids get an awareness of the importance that recycling has for the environment.”

While the contest recognizes 13 drawings for the calendar and awards seven honorable mentions, Campbell said that all of the participants are winners.

“It gets kids to think about recycling whether they have won a place on the calendar or not,” she said. “Every one of the entries have the opportunity to think about recycling and how it impacts the earth and their daily lives.”

Each of the winners were honored by the Kitsap County Commissioners at Monday night’s regular meeting, sharing cakes and snacks in a reception following the ceremony. The kids were happy for the recognition and eager to share what they had learned.

“I think the word should recycle so we don’t have to use all the trees and we can make new things,” said Natalie Boyle of Silverdale.

Fellow Silverdale resident Clare Cabacungan, whose art was making its fourth consecutive appearance in the calendar, said “my ideas come from the world around me. I tell all my friends about recycling and a chain reaction happens. Recycling makes a difference.”

Some of the kids were eager to share but weren’t sure how to articulate their feelings. Jameson Yamamura of Port Orchard, with the help of his mother, said “I want everyone to do their part so they don’t have to cut down trees. We study what is recyclable and what is not. I have learned to put things in the right bin.”

Emily Sullivan of Port Orchard was completely tongue-tied, so her mother stepped in completely.

“She has learned a lot about recycling,” Tami Sullivan said. “We recycle our juice containers, pop bottles and milk containers. Her favorite thing about recycling is that we can make new things out of our old junk.”

As the kids learn, the knowledge trickles up to their parents.

“I learned about recycling when my kids started doing their school projects,” said Jon Yamamura, father of Jameson. “After they started wheeling their big blue cans around I became more conscious of putting newspapers and bottles and other recyclables in the right place. This has made an impact on us as a family and I thank my kids for that.”

While the images are viewable online at at, the calendar itself is not available to the public.

Approximately 1,500 copies are distributed to the kids, participants in the program and county schools.

“This is important to kids because they can utilize their talents and their beliefs,” said South Kitsap School District Superintendent Bev Cheney. “They learn the importance of the environment and what they can do now and what they need to do in the future. It’s important they learn about the environment and how to take care of it.”

This year’s calendar is illustrated by: Front cover, Clare Cabacungan of Marcus Whitman Junior High (8th grade); January, Kirsten Alger of Silver Ridge Elementary (2nd grade); February, Amber Jacobson of Silver Ridge Elementary (6th grade); March, Gia Acosta of Our Lady Star of the Sea (2nd grade); April, Grace Smith of King’s West (3rd grade); May, Alexa Carr of Manchester Christian Academy (6th grade); June, Jameson Yamamura of Manchester Christian Academy (1st grade); July, Rylee Dutton of Sylvan Way Christian School (4th grade); August, Thomas Brehmer of Sylvan Way Christian School (5th grade); September, Paola Merrill of Our Lady Star of the Sea (5th grade); October, Katie Gildner and Ella Banyas of Odyssey Middle School (7th grade); November, Emily Rodriguez of Manchester Christian Academy (Kindergarten); December, Aira Nicole B. Bautista of Esquire Hills Elementary (5th grade).

Seven honorable mention posters were also chosen to be included in the calendar: Karly Schroder of King’s West (6th grade); Natalie Boyle of Our Lady Star of the Sea (5th grade); Jadan-Lynn A. Anderson of View Ridge Elementary (2nd grade); Saraya Thompson of Sylvan Way Christian School (4th grade); Michaela Wallitner of Sylvan Way Christian School (4th grade); Hunter Eady of Manchester Elementary (5th grade) and Kailee Liu of (King’s West (4th grade).

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