Updated: Aug 6, 2019
-Blog by Kelly Howell
A parent's perspective on Count on Kids' Superheroes Clean Up the Town event held on March 24th, 2019
If you didn’t it was a blast! My son is only three and he was very into the concept of helping clean up, especially because all the other kids around him were doing it too. It was a simple concept for him to learn about community and how to work together to achieve something bigger.
The director of Count on Kids, Kelli Plevyak, made the event exciting for the kids! Getting them pumped up with super hero capes and masks and a pep talk before the event began. Each kid, ranging from two to twelve, was provided with a water bottle and a sponge!
When Kelli said "go" they swarmed the bucket of water bottles and sponges. Once in hand kids went running to the play ground, capes flying, ready to wash every part of that play structure. The kids got every corner of that play structure. I have never seen play equipment so clean! The little super heroes cleaned for about an hour, even cleaning the picnic benches and an occasional tree!
Afterward there were a few super heroes that decided to go beyond the play ground and pick up trash from the lawn. Parents and children were provided with gloves and a bag to scour the grass for garbage. My little one didn’t get to that part because he was still cleaning the playground being one of the last ones to put away his bottle. I have never seen him so enthusiastic about cleaning before!
Watching my son interact with the other kids and understanding that cleaning is something we all do to make the world a better place made me think about where do we incorporate this concept in our daily lives. I realized, after thinking about it for awhile, that this concept is lacking in our parenting and schooling. Often in school our children learn about cleaning up or treating each other with kindness, but the overall picture of why we do it is missing. I believe Count on Kids fills and connects that bridge after observing my son with simple activities like this.
He may not have been able to explain it as eloquently as I do, but I asked him after the event ended what we did today. He simply said “we played and cleaned the playground.” Then I asked him “why did we do that?” He said “because it’s fun and now other kids can play too.” He made the connection of community without me giving him hints, which I thought was amazing! I was so proud of him! Sometimes the simplest concepts can be the most powerful!
Do you or your child’s school incorporate clean up days for your community? Leave a comment below if they do, we’d love to hear about them.