School clean up day makes ‘good stewards of the earth’

Enviro kids: St Fiacre’s students Hal Petry, Andrew Karavatakis, and Bronte Glover participate in Clean Up Schools Day.

St Fiacre’s Catholic Primary students and staff rolled up their sleeves and got into the spirit of the annual Clean Up Australia Day.

Armed with garbage bags and gloves, the school’s 140 students removed rubbish from their school and along the roadsides of Catherine and Mackenzie Streets on March 4 after volunteering to take part in the Clean Up Schools Day program for the first time. Year 1 teacher Vicki Vithoulkas said that the exercise was part of an ongoing curriculum-based learning program designed to help the students understand the importance of reducing school waste.

“Students in Years 1 and 2 learned about composting and worm farming as alternatives to waste. Students in Years 3 and 4 wrote and prepared debates about the importance of reducing waste, while Years 5 and 6 students studies their environmental footprint,” Mrs Vithoulkas said.

“Participating in the clean-up to make a real difference to our local community and to keep Australia clean reinforced our positive learning values towards the environment and the important gospel message to be good stewards of the earth.”

Year 6 student and Environmental Leader Bronte Glover’s role encourages students to keep their environment clean on a daily basis.
“You just encourage people to pick up litter and put it in the bins,” she said. “I feel good to go and tidy the town, because it helps to keep the rubbish out of the drains.”

Year 6 student Hal Petry, a House Captain, said the teamwork aspect of his role helped on a day like Clean Up Schools Day.
“Being house captain is about sport and teamwork,” he said. “Together we are one team, so we all need to work together to make the world a better place by cleaning it up, and not just be thinking about ourselves, but about all the litter that could damage the sea creatures across the sea. I think it’s fantastic our school can help clean up Australia. It’s not only better for us but also everyone who lives around here.”

Year 5 student Andrew Karavatakis agreed. “I think it’s great we’ve joined in cleaning up Australia, and in cleaning up the area and making everybody happy.”

Clean Up Australia Chairman Ian Kiernan said more than 48,000 schools have taken part in Schools Clean Up Day since its inception, removing an estimated 105,600 ute loads of rubbish across the country.

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