As a preview to Earth Day, April 22, students at Ambassador Academy in Ahwatukee Foothills went on a collecting spree of aluminum cans and plastic bottles. The goal of the crew is to make the world a little cleaner than when they found it, and it is projects like this, they say, that can make a difference.

The Earth Crew is made up of fourth- and fifth-grade students who think up and execute projects like their recent recycling effort. They spent a great deal of time planning and talking to businesses close to their school, at 3820 E. Ray Road, and convinced 12 of them to let them have their recyclable materials, which they collected on a once-per-week basis. In the end, they had collected 4,582.5 pounds.

“We were really into recycling and we cleaned all the bottles and cans and separated them into different bags,” fourth-grader Ariana Madison said. “We gave up our lunch recess once a week to go to the neighbors and ask them and collect from them.”

On Monday they rounded up all the bags and turned them over to Waste Management, who in turn weighed them and reported the amount to a company called Greenopolis. Depending on the amount, the Earth Crew is set to receive rewards points, which they can use for a variety of things found on the website,

“It wasn’t just about getting the rewards, we just want to do something to help the environment,” fifth-grader Drake Anderson said.

Ambassador Academy is a charter school that moved to its new location in 2010. They will be hosting an open house on Saturday, April 21, from 9 a.m. to noon. To find out more, visit or call (480) 961-2214.

Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or

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