Respect.

That was the topic of a recent program at Our Lady of The Angels Academy in Lansford.

This week, the students were treated to The Respect Program, sponsored by J.P. Mascaro and Sons of Audubon, Pa. The event was held in conjunction with Catholic Schools Week.

During the presentation, Nicole Hager, education coordinator for J.P. Mascaro and Sons and The Respect Program, taught the children how to respect people, property and the environment.

"We're all about educating the community and children about respect," Hager said.

She then asked the students what respect was, who should be respected and how someone shows or earns respect.

The children showed Hager that they knew the meaning of respect by sitting quietly, raising their hands instead of calling out, and listening to her presentation.

Hager then asked for volunteers to complete three activities, the Respect Game, where the students had to decide if a scenario was respectful or not; the Handshake activity, where Hager introduced herself in a respectful way and a non-respectful way; and the Recycling Game, where students had to sort trash from recyclables.

In addition to respecting people, Hager explained that everyone needs to respect property and the environment.

Ways to respect the environment and other people's property include recycling, picking up litter, using less water and turning lights off when you leave a room.

She then challenged the students to think about the world as if it was their own backyard.

"You need to take care of it," she said.

Hager then illustrated the importance of recycling.

She explained that one tin can, if sent to a landfill, takes over 200 years to begin to break down. It only takes 60 days if it is recycled to make it into another reusable product.

For glass, it takes 500,000 to 1 million years to begin to break down in a land fill. It takes up to 90 days to recycle it into something new.

Plastic, she explained, never breaks down in a landfill so it's better to recycle it because it can be turned into a variety of things, including more plastic bottles or even clothing.

Hager added that respect has another meaning when it comes to the environment. Respect also stands for "Respect Everything So Planet Earth Can Thrive."

The presentation concluded with a quiz and a visit from Dumpo, the J.P. Mascaro and Sons blue elephant mascot. Dumpo handed out prizes to the students who answered the quiz questions correctly.

J.P. Mascaro and Sons is a trash and recycling company that provides educational programs on respect, recycling and more.

It has pledged $2.5 million to provide educational programs to schools and the community. Programs are free to anyone who requests them.

More information about the program; as well as games about respect for students can be found at www.therespectprogram.com [1].

The Respect Program also provides $5,000 education grants to elementary schools as a way to provide opportunities to implement educational activities about respect into educational curriculum. These grants are distributed twice a year.

Information on eligibility and applying for the grant can be found at www.therespectprogram.com/grant.shtml [2]