JEFFERSON CITY Mo – Almost 690 students from 33 Missouri elementary and middle schools helped fight litter by participating in the 2011 “Yes You CAN Make Missouri Litter Free” trashcan-decorating contest.
The annual contest is sponsored by the Missouri Departments of Conservation (MDC) and Transportation (MoDOT) as part of their ongoing “No MOre Trash!” campaign to raise awareness about litter and to discourage littering.
The contest encourages classes from kindergarten through eighth grade to join the fight against litter by decorating and displaying a large trash can with the “No MOre Trash!” logo and a litter prevention message using a variety of creative mediums. The winning school from each of three competition categories (grades K-2, grades 3-5 and grades 6-8) receives a $100 award. First-place winners are then eligible for a $500 grand prize and a trophy.
The Sedalia Middle School Unit of the Boys & Girls Club of West Central Missouri won first place for the Grade 3-5 category, and was selected as the grand-prize winner.
According to Boys & Girls Club Site Director Patricia Patrick, the eight participating students chose the theme, “Blast Trash Out of This World” and created a rocket ship out of a metal trashcan. Students used recycled cardboard boxes for the ship’s wings and recycled chicken wire with foam insulation for the nose cone. Donated bed risers served as thrusters and the accompanying sign was made from soda cans and recycled wood flooring. Students painted details on the rocket and sign with acrylic paint. The can will be on display in the Boys & Girls Club room at the school and was featured at the “Rockets and Wheels” expo sponsored by the Boys & Girls Club of West Central Missouri during national Boys & Girls Clubs week March 20-26.
Fredericktown Elementary’s second-grade afterschool Learning Zone students won first place for the Grade K-2 category.
The 14 students were guided by teachers Carol Stephens and Melissa West and chose the theme, “Beauti-Fly Our City.” The group created a butterfly trash can from various recycled materials including used water bottles collected by students and used aluminum foil from the school cafeteria. Students created the paper mache head of the butterfly from old newspapers donated by the school library along with donated paint, glue, pipe cleaners and other supplies. A local business donated Styrofoam scraps for the wings, which students decorated with donated tissue paper, paper and paint. The can is on display next to the main office at the school.
Osage Middle School’s eighth-grade gifted students won first place for the Grade 6-8 category.
According to teacher Karen Blevins, the seven participating students were inspired by the 75th anniversary of the game Monopoly. They created a No MOre Trash! version called Trashopoly with Mr. Monopoly front and center holding a No MOre Trash! pencil as his cane. A replica of stops from the original game board wraps around the top of the can with local street names replacing original locations. Additional images of Mr. Monopoly, along with game pieces made from recycled poster board, promote the No MOre Trash! theme. Monopoly money decorates the top of the can. The can is on display in the teachers’ lounge to collect soda cans from the vending machine. The cans will be recycled to help pay for uniforms for the schools’ Special Olympics participants.
Participating schools were:
GRADES K-2 ENTRIES
GRADES 3-5 ENTRIES
GRADES 6-8 ENTRIES
“The contest is a great way for kids and schools to learn about how litter harms our environment, and to get involved in litter prevention and cleanup,” explained MDC No MOre Trash! Coordinator Joe Jerek.
Jerek encouraged others to get involved in litter prevention and cleanup through Missouri’s annual No MOre Trash! April Trash Bash. The month-long event, sponsored by MDC and MoDOT, encourages individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities to pick up litter, educate others about litter, conduct a litter-free activity and encourage friends and family to participate.
For more information on No MOre Trash!, including the April Trash Bash, call 888-ASK MODOT (888-275-6636), or visit www.nomoretrash.org.