Wendy Tilford had seen the KHOU reports claiming the City of Houston has taken recyclable materials to landfills on multiple occasions this year, and she wanted to provide an eco-friendly option to her new, forward-thinking community.
So she enlisted a paper-shredding truck to park in front of the Huntington Learning Center, which she owns, and invited Heights residents to bring documents they wanted to dispose.
“We’re going to do it responsibly,” Tilford said before the July 20 event. “The recycling truck will be there, paper will be shredded on-site and we’re going to send recycling where it needs to go.”
Along with being environmentally conscious, Tilford wanted to bring awareness to her business and offer support to another educational institution in the neighborhood. She asked for $20 donations from those who came by to shred unwanted paper, with the proceeds benefiting the parent-teacher organization for Hamilton Middle School.
The Heights location of the Huntington Learning Center, one of two that Tilford owns in Houston, opened June 1 at 5307 N. Main St. It specializes in tutoring and test preparedness, which fortifies what students learn at their school campuses.
Heights resident Paula Reidler said she participated in the event because she wanted to support the new learning center, Hamilton and A1 Shredding, Inc., which is owned by Chris Passmore and has business and residential clients. His truck, which he said can hold up to 10,000 pounds of shredded paper, is equipped with a video monitor that allows clients to watch paper being uploaded into the cargo part of the truck and processed.
“We’re very excited about everything coming in,” said Reidler, who was accompanied by her 3-year-old daughter, Emma. “We’re looking forward to participating (in the learning center).”
Tilford said she has 12 clients at the new location, a few of whom were studying with tutors during the paper-shredding event outside. Pedro Lagos, a Heights father who arrived to pick up his sons Ethan and Harrison, said they have enjoyed going there and the early results have been good.
Lagos said his sons’ coursework at The Regis School of the Sacred Heart hasn’t been as rigorous as he would like in reading and writing.
“I like the fact that they’re getting a lot of vocabulary and a lot of reading, a lot of writing (at Huntington),” he said. “I’m trying to give them a leg up, trying to get them more advanced.”
Destiny Bernal, the community coordinator at Hamilton, was on hand to represent the school and see what the learning center has to offer. She said parents often seek out businesses such as Huntington to give their children more individualized instruction than they typically receive on school campuses.
“Individualizing is key to helping students,” Bernal said. “We try to individualize as much as we can at Hamilton. But other schools that may not have the opportunity to individualize in their classrooms, Huntington may be a great opportunity for them.”
The introductory event didn’t have as large of a turnout as Tilford had hoped, but she was grateful to those who participated. She got to interact with them, which gave her more insight into the community and its educational needs, and she got to contribute to a recycling initiative.
It also proved to be a teaching moment for Tilford.
“I learned how to shred today,” she said.