Located on the third floor of ESH, the Reusable Center is a resource for teachers, staff, students, and parents involved in school projects. The center is organized by a dedicated parent volunteer, Mary Kohrman Hayes.
Created in 2006 by a group of Lab School Nursery and Kindergarten teachers to store reusable items for classroom use, the Reusable Center has been run by Mary almost since it’s inception. Reusable items of all types are donated by parents, teachers, staff, and students. Mary receives, sorts, labels, photographs, and organizes the donated materials. Teachers and students visit the center often and create such things as math games, sculptures, science models, costumes, and musical instruments. Some creations are purely artistic; some are functional. By reusing objects in a new way, creativity is stimulated, “green” environmental awareness is increased and landfills decreased.
In its earliest beginnings, reusable items were stored in hallway lockers in Blaine Hall at the Historic Campus. Thanks the enthusiastic support of Lab families who donated reusable items in droves, the lockers were soon filled to capacity, and teachers’ desks were buried under mountains of reusable items. In April 2010 a space was secured at the Historic Campus, and the Reusable Center opened in the U-High teachers’ lounge, and Mary became the volunteer coordinator. In 2011 the center, originally for Nursery and Kindergarten, expanded to include all early childhood grades, as well as the After School programs. During Summer Lab of 2012 Summer Lab teachers and students began using the center. In September 2013 The Reusable Center expanded to 2 sites. One remained on the Historic campus to serve grades 3-12 and a new center opened on the third floor of Earl Shapiro Hall. In August 2015 The Historic Campus Reusable Center closed to facilitate the ongoing renovations on that campus.
Mary keeps the door of the ESH Reusable Center open, and welcomes parents to stop by any time to drop off donations of reusable items, or simply to take a peek at the center. For safety, children should be accompanied by an adult. The Reusable Center accepts reusable contributions of wood, plastic, paper, cardboard, cloth, glass, and metal. Contributed materials should be left in the drop off box inside the center. The following guidelines should be followed for contributions: items must be Clean and Dry – please wash and dry items which were used for food or cleaning. Leave off the lids and caps but send them in with the containers. Only items safe for children to handle are kept in the center. If you are unsure about an item feel free to send it in — if it can’t be used at the Reusable Center, it will be taken to the recycling bins at school.