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Don T Litter Essay Contest

Brooklyn students are looking to rid the streets of trash for good.

Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia joined State Senator Marty Golden on Tuesday, October 6 to celebrate the launch of “Don’t Drop It,” an anti-litter essay contest for elementary school students in grades three through five.

The contest – though open to all local schools willing to participate – was organized by local resident Kim Parker and kicked off at The McKinley Park School, P.S. 127 where students were excited to get involved.

“We [at the Department of Sanitation] spend a lot of time sweeping the streets with our fancy mechanical brooms, and picking up all that garbage that gets into the litter baskets,” Garcia told students. “It’s a big, big job but, you know what? We need help. We need help from all of you in this school to think of creative ideas of how we can do better.”

“The streets in our community are our home,” said Golden. “When we go outside, we want to make sure we have a clean community – that the streets are clean and there’s no graffiti on the walls. We want to live here, we want to have ownership and we want to love our community.”

BROOKLYN MEDIA GROUP/Photos by Meaghan McGoldrick

The take-home assignment prompts students to write a brief essay complete with ideas on how to stop litter at its source, so to boost awareness and help keep city streets cleaner. The first, second and third place winners will be awarded a monetary prize and a pizza party for their class.

P.S. 127 Principal Agatha Alicandro was joined at the kick-off by reps from nearby schools, as well as Community Education Council (CEC) 20 President Laurie Windsor.

“As tomorrow’s future leaders, it’s never too early to instill in our students the need to take an active role in helping and preserving our neighborhoods,” said the CEC prez of the program.

“You want your community to be beautiful,” added Garcia, noting that Bay Ridge is among the best looking communities she gets to work in.

The essays are to be returned to Golden’s office by Friday, November 13, and the winners will be part of a contest ceremony to be held on Thursday, December 3. For more information on the “Don’t Drop It” campaign, contact Golden’s office at 718-238-6044.

BROOKLYN MEDIA GROUP/Photos by Meaghan McGoldrick
BROOKLYN MEDIA GROUP/Photos by Meaghan McGoldrick
BROOKLYN MEDIA GROUP/Photos by Meaghan McGoldrick



Aquaman looked out on the Indian River Lagoon in disgust. After being chased by millions of robot sharks made by Gizmo, the leader of the H.I.V.E., he was tipped off by a fish to go to the Indian River Lagoon. It told him that since the water there was not the water that Gizmo’s robot sharks work in (Gizmo’s sharks only work in salt water, not brackish water), he should go there. Aquaman had heard rumors about the Indian River Lagoon. They were all based solely on the fact that the water was full of trash; the water was dirty, etc.…. Though, Aquaman thought that they were exaggerated and besides, it wasn’t like he couldn’t just stay afloat on top of the water. Still, he was slightly reluctant to go there anyhow. But he would rather go there instead of getting incinerated by millions of robot sharks, though. After looking back at the increasing number of sharks behind him, he thanked the fish and quickly swam away, towards the lagoon. When he had arrived at the entrance the sharks transmitted Gizmo’s angry words and swam away. He snaked past the entrance without being seen and arrived at the shore. “I guess the rumor wasn’t exaggerated”, he said. The water was keeping afloat some soda bottles, machine parts, and was brownish, like there was some other type of liquid other than water in it. He suspected motor oil. “I guess it would look better without the trash and the oil”, he thought out loud. Then, he decided to find the source before picking anything up, because what’s the point of cleaning things up when it just going to come back. After a half an hour of searching he found a pipe with trash coming out, afloat on oil. Aqua man did a victory dance in his head and swam up the pipe. It did not take Aquaman long to swim through the pipe, mainly because e didn’t want to accidently swallow some oil. When he had gone through the whole pipe, he emerged and saw a manufacturing plant. There were hundreds of conveyor belts with things like robotic metal shark fins, teeth, and heads. The pipe up, which he came, was connected to other smaller pipes labeled: Defective parts, Expired/Unused oil, and Gizmo’s trash disposal. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what to do. Aquaman took a piece of metal from a conveyor belt and broke each conveyor belt and pipe. Then, he broke the 3 pipes leading out to the Indian River Lagoon. Fortunately, the oil pipe was above a large fireplace (the H.I.V.E. isn’t good at science, or anything in fact, so they didn’t know that oil fuels fire). Soon enough, the whole manufacturing plant was in flames. By that times though, Aquaman was already gone. When he came out of the pipe, he called his evil fighting companions, the Teen Titans to head to the Indian River Lagoon. They arrived within minutes. Robin and Starfire were responsible for disintegrating trash, Beast Boy and Raven for getting the oil out of the lagoon, and Cyborg for disassembling the machine parts. Within an hour, the 6 had taken out all the trash, oil, and machine parts out of the lagoon. The he asked the Teen Titans for one more favor. They agreed. 10 minutes later, they had arrived at the H.I.V.E’s headquarters. They sneaked inside, into the robot shark control room they went. Gizmo was sitting in a chair fast asleep. Raven said, “Asarath, Mestrion, Sindos!” and Gizmo was transported out of the HQ into the mass of robot sharks. Then, Aquaman hit a button that says: Self-Destruct all fully manufactured robot sharks (or SDAFMRS if you want an acronym). After that, the 6 of them looked out the window and saw lots of bubbles rising to the surface and some pop out and becoming fireworks. They said, “I’ll get you need time Aquaman!” After sneaking out of the HQ and heading back to the Teen Titan’s tower for a delicious dinner, Aquaman thanked the Teen Titans for their help and said to ask him for help if they needed it. Then he headed home, only to find out that it had been blown up by the exploding robot sharks. It looked like Aquaman was going to be busy for a little while…

Jacob, Westside Elementary, 5th grade

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