Brooklyn students are looking to rid the streets of trash for good.
Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia joined State Senator Marty Golden on Tuesday, October 6 to celebrate the launch of “Don’t Drop It,” an anti-litter essay contest for elementary school students in grades three through five.
The contest – though open to all local schools willing to participate – was organized by local resident Kim Parker and kicked off at The McKinley Park School, P.S. 127 where students were excited to get involved.
“We [at the Department of Sanitation] spend a lot of time sweeping the streets with our fancy mechanical brooms, and picking up all that garbage that gets into the litter baskets,” Garcia told students. “It’s a big, big job but, you know what? We need help. We need help from all of you in this school to think of creative ideas of how we can do better.”
“The streets in our community are our home,” said Golden. “When we go outside, we want to make sure we have a clean community – that the streets are clean and there’s no graffiti on the walls. We want to live here, we want to have ownership and we want to love our community.”
The take-home assignment prompts students to write a brief essay complete with ideas on how to stop litter at its source, so to boost awareness and help keep city streets cleaner. The first, second and third place winners will be awarded a monetary prize and a pizza party for their class.
P.S. 127 Principal Agatha Alicandro was joined at the kick-off by reps from nearby schools, as well as Community Education Council (CEC) 20 President Laurie Windsor.
“As tomorrow’s future leaders, it’s never too early to instill in our students the need to take an active role in helping and preserving our neighborhoods,” said the CEC prez of the program.
“You want your community to be beautiful,” added Garcia, noting that Bay Ridge is among the best looking communities she gets to work in.
The essays are to be returned to Golden’s office by Friday, November 13, and the winners will be part of a contest ceremony to be held on Thursday, December 3. For more information on the “Don’t Drop It” campaign, contact Golden’s office at 718-238-6044.