Our American Voice® participants at Pershing Magnet School in Chicago have responded to the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board’s request for suggestions. Here is their letter:

We all have seen someone litter. Maybe you have littered before. Littering is a big problem in our community and other communities around the globe. Littering is a worldwide problem and not all people want to be responsible for helping the Earth become clean and trash free. The Earth is a beautiful place and we need to start taking care of it.   The Earth is living and it provides a home for all organisms big and small.

These are a few of our ideas to stop the littering in our community. For starters, we need to put posters up to advertise the problem and this way more people will be aware of the situation.  We need to let people know that littering is another form of pollution, which is harming animals, plants, and ourselves.  We also need to put more trashcans on our streets. So that citizens have somewhere to throw trash away and not place it on the ground.  Lastly, we need to create a catchy slogan or phrase to let people know we’re serious and are not going to tolerate trash in our community.

Based on what we are learning in Our American Voice class we think that citizens need to consider the impact of their decisions and actions towards others.  This means that even at our age it is not too early to think about the impact that we as young people have on the world. We are the Panthers of Pershing Magnet School and we take pride in each other, our school, and our community.  We will leave you with our school motto “ Panthers are leaders, Panthers are scholars, and Panthers are respectful!

The letter was signed by teacher and OAV Facilitator Asha McKelvey-Gallagher on behalf of her student participants.

If you would like to support the Barat Education Foundation’s initiative to engage more Chicago youth in planning Chicago’s future, please contact us. The Tribune’s editorial is available at the link above.