Riverton Students Create Greeting Cards from Recycled Paper

There’s a manufacturing company operating out of a classroom at Riverton high school. 323 manufacturing creates greeting cards using recycled paper to start. Its a unique approach to learning for an exceptional group of students.

323 Manufacturing looks more like home ec class on first glance. The students product starts with a recipe.
Chris Huff says, “You add five cups of water and you put shredded white paper in it then blend the white paper first.”
Then 4 cups of colored paper and the mush is spooned into a water filled mold. Once water is drained, the newly created paper square is dried and even ironed. Seniors Bella and Chris instruct other students on the process like managers.
Chris says, “We get them and they do all the work. We just tell hem what to do and stuff.”
Bella says, “Its fun its cool it definitely helps me prepare for the world a lot of ways, like I could get a job this could be like on my applications.”

Teach Matt De Moss says, “A lot of these students have specIfic learning needs that require just a different setting.
And he says it’s the ultimate job training program. “They know how to find a set of instructions follow those instructions use the tools that are required to do their job and work with other students and be able to communicate,” says De Moss.
DeMoss developed the program with help from Greenbush Education Service Center which connected him to a Kansas City school where he saw it in practice. The students run the program here and he says they’re learning more than arts and crafts by creating the greeting cards.
De Moss says, “Chris and Bella say they don’t want to do math but they are doing math just getting a real world application of it in a fun and useful way.”
They even sell the final product, decorated cards, around school for a dollar each. They sold hundreds of Christmas cards and students count the money.
DeMoss says, “They’re seeing the value and rewards of their labor.”
And its an opportunity for students in a unique classroom to mix with other students in the school. “When they get to stand up in the hallway at lunch time and sell cards and its a product they’ve produced and their proud of, you can see the sense of ownership they have in the program and doing it. To be honest with you, its really been a great opportunity for them to express themselves to other kids in the school because we have a unique classroom. They’re getting more opportunities to work in the general education atmosphere.”
Bella says, “It makes me feel proud of myself and other people.”
Profits from cards sales pay for class trips. The class includes some from neighboring school districts which are part of the southeast Kansas interlocal. Students in De Moss’s special education class can continue learning and working there through the age of 21.