Queen Mary students learn through Ward 1 Community Cleanup

Michael Oleksyn/Daily Herald Ward 1 Counc. Charlene Miller and students from Queen Mary Community School cleaned up on 15th Street on Thursday.

Students in Grade 4 to Grade 6 at Queen Mary Community School had a chance to learn to be better citizens and clean up their community on Tuesday.

Students from the school were the first to take part in community cleanup efforts with Ward 1 Coun. Charlene Miller. The event was part of Pitch-In Week, which officially kicks off on Tuesday, with Community Cleanup events scheduled until May 7.

Queen Mary principal Kari Korczak said the program is a great learning tool.

“I think it gives our students an opportunity to give back to their community and learn what it is to be a good citizen,” Korczak said.

“We have had, after this program, students on the weekend come back and tell stories of how they saw garbage in their neighbourhood so they went and started picking it up on their own.”

The Ward 1 cleanup sees Miller and a teacher take a group of Grade 4 to 6 students out to clean up down 15th Street where they walk, pick up litter, and get a treat at the end.

“They have certain areas that they clean up,” Korczak explained. “They have a little hot lunch beforehand and they get to wear their t-shirts and show that I am proud of my community. I’m going to go help clean it up.”

Miller told the Herald she plans to accompany different groups of students every day this week to help them clean up the areas around their schools. She said it’s a good way to get children outside following a tough winter, while also helping them understand their civic responsibilities, since some day they will be responsible for keeping their city clean.

Michael Oleksyn/Daily Herald Ward 1 Counc. Charlene Miller and students from Queen Mary Community School cleaned up on 15th Street on Thursday.

Korczak explained that it also helps to build better citizens by showing them how to care of their community by helping to keep it clean. She said it also helps develop a proper respect for the community.

“This is what a good citizen looks like,” she said. “We help take care of our community, we help to keep it clean, we help the people in it,”

The program has been going on for a number of years starting before Koczak became principal five years ago.

“It just makes the community look better and like I said before they start taking these lessons they have learnt from doing this and they go and use it on the weekends,” Korczak said.

Students also learn things not to touch like needles and sharp objects on the ground.

“They are also taught safety aspect of it, but then they go do it themselves and they feel good about themselves. They know they have helped their community and then they come back and learn,” Korczak explained.

She added that cleaning up litter can possibly become a family activity when the students head home from school, which is another benefit.

The City of Prince Albert has organized four drop-off locations for this year’s Pitch-In campaign. Residents can unload household garbage, electronics, metal, appliances, grass and leaves, and recyclables at any of them. Hazardous waste will not be accepted.