The Purdy High School Spanish Club, which operates an industrial recycling project that serves the community, has received a $900 Student Wellness Grant from the Community Foundation of the Ozarks' Rural Schools Partnership program.
The grant money will be used to expand the club's research on community food sustainability issues, according to Gerry Wass, faculty advisor for the Purdy project. Research will include visits to a large farmers market and natural food stores and other areas of interest by students in middle through high school.
"After nearly five years of working on the 'hardware' for the Purdy Recycling Project, we have most of the equipment we need and have moved into our 'software' phase," said Wass.
This phase, according to Wass, involves developing the social technology to sustain the recycling program into the future. The grant money will assist the students in studying the health of rural communities.
"Our training program teaches students not only the specifics of our work (running a recycling center) but also to be a detail-oriented person who can teach others, lead a crew and finally to be a good communicator capable of transforming ordinary words into an interesting message," said Wass.
The Student Wellness Grants are made possible through the Ed and Virginia Heer Family Foundation Fund, which is administered by Community Foundation of the Ozarks (CFO).
"These grants are designed for programs that encourage students to make and promote healthy choices in both good nutrition and active lifestyles," said CFO Executive Vice President Julie Leeth. "We congratulate the Purdy group on its interest in understanding the issues associated with sustainability of the local food supply."
In all, the Rural Schools Partnership awarded $8,600 in Student Wellness Grants. In addition to Purdy, other schools that received the grants were Fair Grove, Gainesville, Carl Junction, Hermann, Valle Catholic School in Ste. Genevieve and Cuba.
The Purdy Recycling Project offers community recycling opportunities on the first and third Saturdays of the month from 8 to 11 a.m. at the school.