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Gulf Elementary 4th and 5th Grade Class wins 2014 Florida Green School Awards

Statewide recognition given for recycling efforts in partnership with Special Populations of Cape Coral and assistance of FGCU students

October 10, 2014
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Gulf Elementary School's 4th and 5th Grade Class received the 2014 Florida Green School Awards in the class category for their recycling paper project launched back in 2010 in partnership with Special Populations of Cape Coral. The awards program, was held Wednesday, Oct. 8, at Streamsong Resort in Polk County, Fla.

More than 100,000 pounds of paper have been recovered by over 250 elementary students since Cape Coral local resident Alessia Leathers started the project in 2010 at Gulf Elementary, one of the largest schools in Lee County with more than 1,000 students.

The project also counts with the assistance of students from Florida Gulf Coast University, who volunteer their time - as part of their Service Learning experience - by guiding their young partners in the collection of paper from classroom to classroom. Then, Special Populations of Cape Coral hauls every other week all the recycled material in wheeled-bins provided by Goodwill through their Secure Shred Program.

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Cape Coral resident Alessia Leathers, left, who started the recycling paper project at Gulf Elementary in 2010, and Angel Fiore, last year’s 4th grade teacher at Gulf Elementary, receive on behalf of Gulf Elementary 4th and 5th Grade students, the 2014 Florida Green School Awards in the Class Category.

Since 2009, the state of Florida recognizes the environmental achievements of students, teachers, classes, schools, and school districts through the Florida Green School Awards, organized by the Florida Green School Network in partnership with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Florida Department of Education (DOE), Florida Department of Health (DOH) and Sustainable Florida.

Created by the Florida Legislature six years ago, hundreds of green school projects around the state have documented savings totaling over $87 million through their efforts in conserving energy and water, and reducing waste.

For more information, please contact: Romina Sola ( of the DEP Press Office, 850-245-2112, and/ or visit



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