Students give Mother Earth some much-needed TLC

By Trang Pham-Bui - bio | email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - How often do you see kids so enthusiastic about picking up trash?

"I've been picking up glass, Capri Sun straws, like fake grass," said third grader Allison Rivers.

Dozens of third graders at Bayou View Elementary School in Gulfport didn't seem to mind removing all the junk to help beautify their neighborhood park.

"It's just trash," said third grader Carson Reeder.  "We're helping the environment, you know that. So it's not really that gross."

"What is that? Is that glass?" a student asked as he pointed to the ground.

"I'm shocked at the amount of glass out here," a teacher commented.

As part of Earth Day, the students learned about problems plaguing our planet.  They also watched the new movie "Earth," that documents several animal families and the dangers they face in the wild.

"I cried two times in the movie because it was so sad," said Allison.  "Because it's telling us that animals are dying, because of us destroying them."

"We need to protect it, because it'll stop our water and it'll hurt our animals," said third grader Maggie DeFrances.

"Come on! Team work!" some college students shouted as they played a game of volleyball.

The students in the American Government Civic Engagement Project are also going green. They want to start a recycling program at the Jeff Davis campus of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.

During an Earth Day celebration Wednesday, they played games, sold baked goods, even kisses, to raise enough money to buy 20 recycling bins.

"Because everything that we sell here on campus is plastic or cans or something paper, aluminum.  So we need to recycle that," said program co-organizer Veronica Webb.

"It's a serious problem," Sarah Falks said.  "Even with just a few steps you know, lead an example for other people."

And the students are proving that saving the earth can start at any age.

"We need to protect it because there's only one earth," said Carson.

Earth Day will celebrate its 40th anniversary next year.

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