Liam Wolfe, Staff Writer – The Board of County Commissioners [BOCC] for Citrus County has recognized the issue of littering in the community and created a campaign called Culture of Clean to promote awareness and activism on the subject. Lecanto High School [LHS] is working with the BOCC to promote anti-littering, since young people are instrumental in creating substantial change.
Commissioner Jimmie T. Smith, put the wheels in motion for the Culture of Clean initiative. His first objective is to muster the efforts of the younger generation, which includes LHS students.
“The creative mindset of the young people to communicate in a way that connects is simply incredible. They have this unique ability to see past themselves and do this in an unparalleled way,” Smith explained.
Members of the BOCC met with Jong Ash’s journalism student, Liam Wolfe to put together a plan for the campaign partnership. A group of students from the class will be creating a catchy slogan as well as a logo to aid the spread of the campaign’s message. Additionally, Ash’s students are in the process of putting together a promotional video that will be played on the LHS morning show and otherwise distributed through social media. The purpose would be to make more people aware of the push to stop littering. The partnership is not limited to the journalism class members; all LHS students are invited to get in on the initiative.
Support for the cause is already high, as students recognize that having a clean school is key to having a positive learning environment.
“We all have to be at the school, so we should take care of it,” said senior Ethan Lasseigne.
Lecanto already has a few programs that contribute to a cleaner community, such as Key Club’s ‘Blue Bins’ project. In essence, students placed blue recycling bins in each classroom (hence the name) and, on a weekly basis, they go around the school to empty those bins into the school’s primary recycling bin.
“A cleaner campus promotes a more positive attitude, as opposed to a dirty campus, which can have the opposite effect,” junior Kiersten Weidner commented. “More students should take part in programs like Blue Bins.”
Students from Lecanto are encouraged to use their individual talents to contribute to the anti-littering campaign.
“We’re open to all sorts of project ideas,” said Cynthia Oswald, public information officer for the BOCC. “Everything from posters to student-made videos would help. We’re going to be recognizing every student that helps — whether that means maybe a luncheon or even business cards. We want everyone to be involved.”
This initiative hopes to put a stop to the perpetuation of littering by raising awareness throughout the LHS student body.
“The endpoint of success in all of this is when one person looks to another and says ‘don’t throw that out the window’,” Smith affirmed.