Dalton Pace and David Carver (from left) from Andrews Middle School recover two of four televisions that were tossed into a ravine off of Tatham Gap, which was part of the Trail of Tears “Earth Day” event.

Schools improving our quality of life

    As a community, we all benefit from the anti-litter efforts of our Cherokee County Schools. It is an honor for the N.C. Litter-free Coalition to be part of and support these efforts.
    If, and only if, our schools get involved in teaching and participating in four campus litter cleanup efforts per school year and the “Earth Day” litter poster contest, we will have a chance to create a situation where our county will be appealing to those that work and live here and to attract new businesses and jobs.
    The N.C. Litter-free Coalition will only be effective in our community if the parents, schools, community leaders, businesses and our residents do their part to improve the quality of living in Cherokee, Clay and Graham counties by getting involved and doing their part.
    Andrews Middle School Principal Julie Higdon, science teacher Alaina Ledford, Amber Ledford, science teacher Camile Brown, Donna Adams, coach Brandon Dietz and their students conducted the most comprehensive Cherokee County Schools single-day litter recovery event so far for 2017. This effort included about 200 students.
    Principal Julie Higdon shared, “The recent ‘Save the Shrew’ event was a student driven, solution-oriented approach to an ongoing problem, an integral component to it being successful. Students were appalled with the waste collected – and concerned about the welfare of animals suffering from it. Our youth are compelled to make a difference in our community and protect their home environment, which is powerful. By participating in our Campus Beautification Club, or “CBC,” students are continually taking a stand against the harmful effects of littering.”
    “Engaging students
in CBCs not only instills pride in preserving the beauty of our area, it also teaches students to actively pursue solutions to real world concerns. Students are not merely picking up trash; these students are sending a message they will respect themselves, each other and the world,” Higdon said.
    In 2017, the following schools have partnered with the N.C. Litter-free Coalition in an effort to showcase their schools anti-litter efforts.
    Murphy Middle School Principle Tiffany Clapsaddle, her teachers and students have conducted several campus cleanups during the 2017 school year.
    Murphy High School Principal Thomas Graham, plus science teacher Susan Steiner and her “Campus Beautification Club” students, have been very engaged in campus cleanup efforts.
    The N.C. Litter-free
Coalition is accepting invitations to visit Cherokee,
Clay and Graham county schools and organizations
to discuss why litter does not benefit any community and what those communities can do to improve this situation.
    If you are a school that is engaging your students in campus litter pickups and messaging, please email your story and photos to the N.C. Litter-free Coalition, and we will put them on our Facebook page.
    Email comments and questions to Gary Chamberlain at folksvilleUSA@gmail.com; write to Road Warrior, P.O. Box 98 Murphy, NC 28906; Facebook at “North Carolina Litter-free Coalition” and “America the Beautiful and BagReadyJobs;” or call him at 928-202-1186.