Claw Club students work hard to protect the environment.

December 15, 2021

Aden Palazzola, Alex Crowder and Luke Choponis.

Claw Club students work hard to protect the environment.

Tiger Pride is a presentation of Shelby Public Schools in partnership with Oceana County Press.

SHELBY — Students Alex Crowder, Aden Palazzola and Luke Choponis are the Project Green recycling team at Shelby Middle School.

The boys make the rounds to every classroom each week to gather the recycled materials and deposit them in the large dumpsters behind the school.

“I had really good grades, so I got to pick someone of my choice, and I picked Aden,” said Alex. The two boys are good friends. Then, Luke Choponis joined the effort, making it a three-man team.

The recycling group is one of the Claw Club committees at Shelby Middle School. “Claw Club is essentially our student council, but it’s not structured like a typical student council where there are elections,” said school counselor Laura Sly, who oversees the program as the advisor. “Because, of course, at this age level it’s a popularity contest — it’s not about leadership. These are the years when you learn leadership by trying and doing.”

There are different committees that handle other tasks, such as raising and lowering the US flag; decorating lockers with school spirit messages for student athletes; and reading the school announcements. There is also a Toys for Tots drive committee for Christmas. 

“At this age level, kids don’t know their leaders,” said Sly. This is their chance to show they can be leaders through dedication and hard work.”

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