FPC sophomore combines her love for children, and environmental awareness, by repurposing discarded crayons.
While many homes will be filled with the scent of pine needles and taste treats from the oven during the holidays; the smell of melting wax will be the primary scent in Bree Barron’s home.
The wax will be orphan crayons -- broken, small and discarded. Bree is saving them from a landfill fate, while helping Flagler ESE elementary students.
“I am collecting the crayons, melting them down and putting them into molds to make larger crayons that will be easier for the children to use,” Bree said.
The idea for the project came from a couple different sources. While she was a counselor at Camp "I am Special" in Fruit Cove (St. Johns County) this past summer, she saw first-hand some of the challenges facing the children, and the generosity of others who wanted to help.
“I have this love for the children and wanted to do something for them,” she said. “I didn’t know what I wanted to do until I was in this class researching about environmental things, and came across a man in California who was collecting the crayons left behind at restaurants. I put two and two together and decided to repurpose crayons for our children in the ESE department.”
Her project has included emailing all of the elementary principals in the county to tell them what she wants to do, visiting classes and consulting county ESE specialists. She also created a PowerPoint to detail what she hopes to accomplish. All Community Problem Solving projects are entered into the state-wide competition in the spring.
“I have this love for the children and wanted to do something for them.” Bree Barron, sophomore at Flagler Palm Coast High School
Donations have been important to her project. She has boxes full of crayons, cookie cutters and molds. After she put her information on the school district website the donations started arriving. Sometimes bags of crayons are delivered to her class; other times, teachers hand her a bag of crayons as she is walking down the hall toward her next class.
“I am trying to do a holiday theme, and other things,” she said. “A dolphin would be a good example. It curves and is bigger, making it easier to hold, and it tapers to a point for coloring.”
The next step is to melt the crayons and pour them into the molds. This is going to require some experimentation over her holiday break from school, and help from friends and the members of her youth group at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church. Delegating work is also part of the overall project.
“I am going to begin experimenting over my Christmas break,” she said. “I am gathering up my supplies. I may use pots. There are web sites that show some people use crock pots.”
After the first of the year, class schedules will change and she will no longer be in Diane Tomko’s class. She plans to continue the project and expects to be able to deliver the redesigned and repackaged crayons to the children in the ESE classes in January.