SMART Association's Elementary Education Program Reaches 1 Million Students Nationwide

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Three-year campaign teaches students the importance of recycling used clothing and household textiles

We have worked very hard over the last several years to educate elementary school children and teachers about the benefits of textile recycling. We understand the importance of engaging students at a young age.

Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association (SMART), the international trade association for the for-profit used clothing recycling industry, reports it has reached more than 1 million students through its elementary education program. Developed in partnership with The Education Center, the no-cost curricula provides grade-appropriate resources for elementary teachers on the benefits of recycling used clothing and household textiles.

Since the program’s launch in October 2012, 20,257 teachers nationwide have engaged in the program, with more than 21,000 resource downloads reaching 1,093,878 students. The program provides various learning resources including a textile recycling fact sheet and infographics, and grade-appropriate lesson plans for grades K-2 and 3-5. In adherence with Common Core Standards required by schools, the curricula complements existing lesson plans and incorporates core school subjects such as math and science while teaching students that clothing and other textiles can be recycled just like common household recyclables like paper, plastic, glass and aluminum.

“We have worked very hard over the last several years to educate elementary school children and teachers about the benefits of textile recycling. We understand the importance of engaging students at a young age,” said Jackie King, executive director of SMART. “Last year, we saw overwhelming results of elementary school teachers utilizing SMART’s lesson plans, and this year were couldn’t be more excited to have achieved the milestone of educating more than 1 million elementary students about textile reuse and recycling.”

While the official three-year campaign ends March 31, 2015, the resources will remain searchable by teachers on The Education Center’s website. The resources can also be found on SMART’s website at SMART will continue to fulfill its commitment to educating the public about the benefits of recycling all used clothing and household textiles.

Please direct all media inquiries for SMART to Josie Hankey at 410-420-2001 or by email at josie(dot)hankey(at)fallstongroup(dot)com. To learn more about SMART, visit http:// or “like” SMART on Facebook.

Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles (SMART) is an international nonprofit trade association that strengthens the economic opportunities of its diverse membership by promoting the interdependence of our industry segments and providing a common forum for networking, education and trade. Since 1932, SMART has been at the forefront of recycling. SMART members used and convert recycled and secondary materials from used clothing, commercial laundries and non-woven, off spec material, new mill ends and paper from around the world. SMART member companies create thousands of jobs worldwide. SMART members prove each day that you can make money by being socially responsible.

For additional information on SMART, visit the association’s website at or view the SMART Media Kit at [ For informational videos on textile recycling, visit

About The Education Center
The Education Center was founded in 1973 by Marge and Jake Michel who, like many other educators, were frustrated by the lack of practical, ready-to-use materials for the classroom. So they created several products in their spare time, and the company grew from there. Countless teachers have contributed to The Mailbox® for more than 30 years. Some teachers are so excited about the opportunity to create ideas for other teachers that they join our staff in Greensboro, North Carolina.

As the company has grown over the years, our staff of former teachers has continued to produce high-quality, practical, ready-to-use materials for other elementary teachers. Hundreds of thousands of teachers across the country depend on our products to enrich their lesson plans, to speed up their planning time, and to leave them more time to do what they love best-teach. This family of creative people has helped to insure that our products are known and loved by teachers throughout the country. As a matter of fact, The Mailbox® is America’s #1 teaching resource!

Because our products are developed by teachers with hands-on classroom experience, all our materials are developmentally appropriate, educationally sound, and fun! Our commitment to make teachers’ lives simpler by providing them with the kinds of resource materials that will save time and enrich the classroom experience.

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Josie Hankey
since: 03/2011
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