When you arrive at the Denver North campus that houses STRIVE Prep – Excel, unfortunately, one of the first things you notice is the trash that has blown up against the fence and dots the school yard. This reduces school morale and sends a (wrong) message that the students just don’t care. In fact, the students care a lot and are proud of their school, so the Community Adventure Program (CAP) students set out to clean the school up and make putting trash in the proper bins more of a pleasant experience.
To raise awareness, the CAP class held a school-wide anti-litter poster contest. Then they designed environmentally-themed coloring pages for the coloring booth at the Denver North open house. The messages were in Spanish and English, so the information would receive a wider audience.
The CAP class had the creative idea to paint the trash bins to make them more noticeable and make it fun to throw things away. They went through the proper DPS channels and learned that they couldn’t paint the outdoor trash bins. Undaunted, they sought and gained permission to paint the indoor trash cans. There is plenty of trash in classrooms and hallways, too. They spent a couple of class periods cleaning, sanding, and priming the plastic trash cans. Then the fun began – painting them. One now looks like Darth Vader, while tree frogs and flowers decorate others. Walking down the hall, the bins are much more noticeable and bright.
Finally, they held a school yard cleanup, collecting nine full bags of trash and recycling! They celebrated their achievements with donuts and hot apple cider as a sweet reward for all of their hard work.
A special thanks goes out to all of our supporters and funders that help make our partnership with STRIVE Preparatory Schools possible this school year, including: Ladd Foundation, Larrk Foundation, and PeyBack Foundation.
Written by: CAP Instructor, Erin Angel