Detroit 2020 Teams Up with DPS for “Keep It Clean!” Project

Detroit 2020 teamed up with Detroit Public Schools today, May 8, 2012, for a new initiative titled, “Keep It Clean!”

Students and staff members from Marion Law Academy, Bennett Elementary School and Schulze Academy for Technology & Arts completed clean-up and gardening projects to beautify their school grounds and adjacent property.

Live video footage

About 25 students and staff members from each school participated in the project. Carolyn Clifford, WXYZ anchor of the 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts led the initiative.

“Carolyn wants to encourage students to keep their school grounds clean throughout the year,” said Glenn Bar, executive producer of Detroit 2020. “We’re hoping this will be the start of something to encourage all students to keep their neighborhoods clean.”

Clifford and JoAnne Purtan, co-anchor of WXYZ Action News at noon and 5 p.m., started their day at Bennett Elementary School. Fourth and fifth graders at Bennett raked, pulled weeds and picked up paper in the school yard. They then moved across the street to clean a vacant lot.

“Children spend the majority of their waking hours at school, so to instill a sense of pride in their surroundings positively impacts the manner in which they view and care for their community,” said Josette Buendia, Principal of Bennett Elementary School. “The importance of being proud and caring for their community must begin in elementary school so the children can carry this focus into adulthood.”

WXYZ reporter Dave LewAllen and Alicia Smith, anchor for WXYZ Action News This Morning worked with Law Academy students to clean their school grounds. Eighth graders picked up debris and planted flowers.

Clifford and Stephen Clark, anchor for the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. news segments, aired live broadcasts from Shulze Academy at noon and 5 p.m. as the students completed a massive clean-up effort.

Sixth and seventh graders cleaned trash and brush from the yard of an abandoned house across from the school.  And the City of Detroit promptly sent a crew to collect the yard waste.

The goal behind the project is to have students keep the areas around their neighborhoods clean throughout the spring and summer and beyond.

“If you see a piece of paper on the ground, pick it up. Take pride in your neighborhood and school grounds because this is your home,” Clifford said to the students. “It’s great to have people clean up the school grounds for you, but you don’t have to wait for someone else to keep your area clean. This is your home, your school, so it’s your responsibility to keep it clean!”

So spread the word—Keep It Clean!

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