Elementary students take spring cleaning outdoors

Students from Queen Mary Community School pick up garbage for Ward 1 Coun. Charlene Miller's annual community clean-up on May 7, 2019. (Jayda Noyes/Daily Herald)

A Prince Albert elementary class found more than just candy wrappers and plastic straws during a community clean-up on Tuesday.

The litter also included items that seemed to shock them and their teacher, including large diaper boxes and a few shoes.

Ward 1 Coun. Charlene Miller led a grades four and five split class at Queen Mary Community School in picking up trash, working together with their teacher, Ashley Bruneau, to supervise the students.

This is Miller’s ninth year and Bruneau’s fifth year taking part in community clean-ups after the snow melts.

Bruneau said it’s nice to see her students taking everything they’ve learnt in the classroom to action.

“It’s just trying to make a difference, even just one person. And that’s what I told them. Yeah, not everybody is going to do it, but hopefully one person (will), and that can make a difference. That’s all we can do, is just try,” she said.

Teacher Ashley Bruneau (left) helps her grades four and five class pick up garbage just outside of their school on May 7, 2019. (Jayda Noyes/Daily Herald)

She added when the snow starts to melt, it’s not surprising when tons of trash is revealed.

“I knew it was going to happen,” she said. “I’m just hoping that people can see us, you know, like people driving by. I’m hoping that they’ll see us and say ‘Oh, good job,’ and hopefully we’ll rub off on them.”

One lady did, in fact, roll down the window of her vehicle while driving by and commended the class for their work.

A grade four student named Wyatt said he wanted to participate in cleaning up trash because “it’s good for the environment.”

Rain, a grade fiver, said all of the trash they found is sad to see.

She wanted to clean it up so “the world and grass and things grow.”

Miller said she continues to lead the clean-ups both for the kids and the community at large.

“Once you actually get on the street picking up litter, you don’t realize how much is out here. This is quite a bit,” she said.

Coun. Charlene Miller speaks to students during her annual community clean-up on May 7, 2019. (Jayda Noyes/Daily Herald)

The initiative is part of Pitch-In Week, which is meant to encourage businesses, individuals and groups to pick up the springtime litter. Miller also rounds up volunteers to pick up garbage, trim trees and hedges and cut grass in her ward.

Ward 2 Coun. Terra Lennox-Zepp and Ward 3 Coun. Evert Botha also lead cleanups.