By Nikole Dugger
Second graders at Wallace A. Smith Elementary celebrated the end of TCAPS testing with a trip to Fall Creek Falls today after taking top honors in a county-wide anti-littering contest.
“Hamilton Shines” was introduced in August as part of Hamilton County Mayor Claude Ramsey’s anti-littering initiative and saw 27 elementary schools compete through projects and programs promoting awareness about litter.
“We just want to remind people that littering is a lack of responsibility, and we know that kids are the best way to do that,” said Gina Hatler, who works on the mayor’s initiatives.
Staff Photo By Nikole DuggerHamilton County Mayor Claude Ramsey addresses students at Wallace A. Smith Elementary in Ooltewah this morning during a program honoring the school's second graders as winners of the "Hamilton Shines" anti-litter contest.
Before boarding buses this morning, the school’s students gathered in the gymnasium as the five second grade classes performed a song they wrote about littering and shared a PowerPoint presentation depicting their body of work.
The entries were judged during the week of March 27, and Ms. Hatler said the multiple components the Wallace A. Smith students employed led to their victory.
Their activities also included organizing a campus clean-up for the grounds around the school building and including the community by placing the posters they made in Ooltewah and Harrison-area businesses.
Mayor Ramsey stopped by the send-off to congratulate the winners and to remind the students to be aware of the consequence of acting irresponsibly with trash.
“We live in one of the prettiest places in the whole, wide world,” he said. “When we litter, we’re destroying that beauty.”
Before signing autographs for the students who crowded around him at the program’s end, Mayor Ramsey left those in attendance with two pieces of advice.
“Don’t throw littler on the ground, and if you see paper or litter on the ground, pick it up,” he said.
“It’s all-out responsibility to keep the area beautiful.”
E-mail Nikole Dugger at firstname.lastname@example.org