KOB Celebrates Every Litter Bit Hurts Litter Education 2018-2019 Winners, A Keep Oklahoma Beautiful Initiative

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(Oklahoma City, March 25, 2019) – Keep Oklahoma Beautiful (KOB) celebrates the winners of our elementary and middle school Litter Education programs, UnCapped and UpCycled contest! These KOB programs, with the mantra is “Every Litter Bit Hurts” provide opportunities to create young environmental ambassadors by offering creative projects that teach students about the harmful effects of littering.

 

In the Fall of 2018, many hopeful participants registered for our Litter Education programs. These programs are made possible through our sponsor and longtime partner, Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT).  One of the founders and sponsors of Every Litter Bit Hurts campaign, is Director J. Michael (Mike) Patterson.  Director Patterson has been an invaluable proponent of engaging students and helping them use their talents to be future environmental ambassadors.

 

In a Texoma News Network’s KSWO-TV interview in Lawton, OK, Director Patterson stated that “at the Department of Transportation, one of the issues that we have is waste along the side of the roads.  Anytime we can educate our young people in the State about waste, how they can recycle different parts of our waste and in this case, turn it into art, we can save millions of dollars in government clean-up costs. These middle schoolers help us influence their siblings, their families and friends not to throw things away but actually recycle them.”

 

From the launch of End Litter, a high school and college litter video contest in 2011, Director Patterson has dedicated his efforts in spreading the message of Litter Education, growing the program into two additional grade levels. After serving ODOT and KOB as a sponsor, partner, and friend for many years, KOB appreciates Director Patterson and his devotion to our state and our future green leaders.

 

UnCapped engages 4th & 5th grade students to take action in understanding the importance of recycling in Oklahoma by creating a work of art from plastic bottle caps and submitting a class-collaborative essay about why recycling is important.  Our fall 2018 UnCapped winners in Ms. Manal Dabboussi’s 5th grade Art class from Mercy School Institute of Edmond, OK created their project titled “Trash to Treasure” and submitted it along with their winning class essay.

 

UpCycled is a program for 7th and 8th grade students to understand the consequences of litter and the hazards/dangers of landfills.  Teachers in this program are encouraged to take their students to visit a local landfill. Our UpCycled winners from Mrs. Sandra Berry’s 8th grade class of Eisenhower Middle School in Lawton, OK created "upcycled" art, by using items that might otherwise have been thrown away. Along with their winning class collaborative essay, Mrs. Berry’s class project titled “Water Bottle Woes to Wow” consisted of recycled water bottles that were cut into spirals and dyed to be repurposed as bird feeders. Their class essay describes the importance of reusing items and the effects of landfills and excessive waste.

 

As a prize for their hard work, KOB Executive Director Jeanette Nance and ODOT Director Mike Patterson had the opportunity to treat the winning classes with a pizza party at their schools. In partnership with the Thunder, they also received tickets to a Thunder game where they were able to meet the NBA Thunder player Steven Adams. The contest winners were also recognized at our 28th Annual Environmental Excellence Celebration in November 2018.

 

We are beyond grateful for all the support that Director Patterson has put into our programs and ODOT as a whole. We are truly going to miss him as he prepares for his retirement on April 1st, but we know that his successor Secretary Tim Gatz will be a phenomenal addition. We look forward to continuing to partner with ODOT to encourage youth ambassadors who will help us keep Oklahoma beautiful

For more information about KOB, Every Litter Bit Hurts Litter Education, and the sponsors of this program visit: www.keepoklahomabeautiful.com