Pupils take to the streets of Barrow for Big Clean campaign
TAKING control and making positive changes in the community is the message one group of school pupils has not only been taught but taking is seriously and acting on it.
They may only be eight and nine years old but Year Four pupils at St Paul’s Junior School, Barrow, have really taken to heart - “Be the change you want to see”.
And part of that change involved getting out of the classroom and making their own Big Clean 2017 happen.
Encouraged by their teacher, Gemma Wright, the class hit the streets around the Hawcoat Lane school suitably dressed in their own lime green Big Clean T-shirts, protective gloves and pickers.
It was encouraging for the pupils that the area they had chosen to carry out their litter pick was cleaner than expected, but they kept at it and certainly played their part in making the area even better than it was.
Mrs Wright explained: “It went well and the children really enjoyed it although the Hawcoat area was cleaner than we had thought.
"We spent about 45 minutes out on the streets and then another 20 minutes around the school.
“As part of the Archbishop of York Awards we encourage the children to make a change in their community and ‘be the change they want to see’ and the Big Clean is part of that."
Pupils are encouraged to do things such as wash a neighbour's car, bake a cake, volunteer at an afternoon tea and then things like the Big Clean litter pick.
Mrs Wright said: “In lessons they learn about history and people like Martin Luther King who preached about words and actions and bringing change without violence.
“We want to encourage the children that no matter what age they are to be empowered and take responsibility and not be helpless.”
The children received lots of words of encouragement along the way from members of the public who told them to keep up the good work; however, the children were already enthusiastic because they had seen the pupils doing the Big Clean last year.
Although the streets were not as bad as many other parts of town, the children still found litter and rubbish which should not be there.
Mrs Wright said: “We found mainly bottles and wrappings but also a hub cap and a lot of dog mess. People put it in bags but then leave them lying around.
"Last year we found a ring, but nothing that exciting this year."