Trash gets turned into treasured lessons at this school

Posted at 7:21 AM, Mar 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-30 07:21:40-04

HANOVER, Va. — There is a lot of trash talking at Rural Point Elementary School.

The lesson all started when fourth-grader Tyler Shelton was having a little fun at recess. "We were on the playground and then like, there was a lot of trash."

He and some friends started picking up that litter. "We got like 63 pieces the first day," he said.

"And the next day we came out for recess, he had gathered more people to help him pick up trash," said teacher Jennifer Elkins.

Tyler’s classmate, Kaitlyn Fitzpatrick, was one of them. "I'm not one who really likes to clean, in general. But in this case, it's not bad," she said, laughing.

Welcome to the Trash Cleaning Club.

The Trash Cleaning Club at Rural Point Elementary School.

"They, all of a sudden, started getting involved and were making flyers and making sign-up-sheets and posters," said Elkins.

Good teachers don’t throw away a good opportunity.

"We actually stopped the lessons that we had before and said let's take this and make it meaningful for the students."

STEM lessons taught them how to build trash grabbers using recycled materials. And technology lessons about trash really paid off.

"They made a presentation for the PTO to ask them for money, so we could have more trash cans available for students to pick up trash outside," said Elkins.

The Trash Cleaning Club was able to purchase several collapsible trash cans, along with trash bags and gloves.

“It feels good," said Shelton.

Cleaning up the campus… is Building Better Minds.

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