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Gov. Carney helps launch Litter Free School Zone Program

Joe Irizarry
Delaware Public Media
Gov. John Carney, Rep. Lyndon Yearick, and Education Secretary Mark Holodick stand with Frear Elementary School students and staff to promote Litter Free School Zone Program.

In an effort to keep the state litter free, all schools statewide can join a program that honors their ability to keep their grounds clean.

Gov. John Carney helped launch the Litter Free School Zone Program at Allen Frear Elementary School in Camden Thursday.

Carney tells the kids on the school’s Eco Team which helps pick up litter at the school the program’s message is not only for schools.

"We shouldn't have to rely on other people to pick up our litter and our trash. We should stop throwing it out there in the first place, and that's the fundamental message," said Carney.

The program is designed to encourage students to keep school grounds litter-free and raise awareness with a sign posted outside of the school.

Allen Frear Principal Julie Lavender says her students started before the program.

"Before this program was a thing our students notice a lot of litter in the back playground area just because of how our school is situated on a campus with fields around it just naturally blows so during recess that became kind of a fun little activity who can pick up the most trash,” said Lavender. “So that was something that they naturally did but now expanding it even more to our outdoor spaces in the front of the building around our roads surrounding our property and then hoping they take the same skills they learned here home to their own community."

Allen Frear Elementary School received its own Litter Free School Zone sign.

To get that sign, any school can sign up for the program at Keep Delaware Beautiful dot com, and then create a team to pick up litter.

Keep Delaware Beautiful board chair Michael Parkowski says once the team is set up, there are other requirements.

"And the team will go out and pick up litter, and they want to schedule at least two events. And once they've completed that, when they go out they're going to record all the litter that they collect and tally it, and provide that information back to Keep Delaware Beautiful," said Parkowski.

Some of the program’s goals are to prevent littering not only in school but elsewhere - as students carry the same responsibilities into their communities and serve as role models for adults.

Joe brings over 20 years of experience in news and radio to Delaware Public Media and the All Things Considered host position. He joined DPM in November 2019 as a reporter and fill-in ATC host after six years as a reporter and anchor at commercial radio stations in New Castle and Sussex Counties.