LYNN — The city celebrated Earth Day by kicking off a city-wide poster contest for second-graders aimed at educating their classmates and maybe even some adults on the negative effects of litter and how to prevent it.
Second-graders at public schools throughout Lynn were visited by city and school officials on Monday, who invited them to take part in the contest and create a poster centered around their ideas of how to “Keep Lynn Clean.”
The winning poster from each school, chosen by its respective teachers and staff, will be displayed at the student’s school and City Hall or various businesses around Lynn.
The top poster in the city will be displayed on a billboard, which was exciting news for second-graders at Lincoln-Thomson Elementary School, a morning stop that included a visit from Mayor Thomas M. McGee and City Councilor-at-Large Brian Field.
Reksa Tieng, 7, a second-grader at Lincoln-Thomson, said it was her hope that every time someone walks by her poster, they might pause and help the world be a better and cleaner place that everyone can enjoy.
Reksa said she worries about plastic getting into oceans, which might be eaten by fish, which might then be consumed by people.
Teddy MacDougall, 7, said it was his hope that his poster would inspire people to throw their trash away.
Preventing littering is important “because we don’t want to hurt any animals in our environment and we don’t want to make our environment all dirty because of trash,” Teddy said.
The idea, inspired by the annual fire safety poster contest put on by the Lynn Fire Department and Lynn Public Schools, was a collaborative effort among members of the City Council, School Committee, the mayor’s office and the superintendent.
“Litter is definitely an issue in the city,” McGee said. “It’s in the parks and on the streets. We want to send a message to the people in our community about keeping it clean and what it means to change the quality of life in our community bit by bit.”
By engaging second-graders, McGee said it would get all of the students thinking and keep the message on their minds.
“The idea came about after some discussion as to how best to get in the schools and educate these children about litter and the negative effects it has on our city,” Field said. “Education is a key component to tackling the litter issues we have. We figured who better to teach children but children themselves.”