5th Grader Plans Community Clean-up



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Camila Velazquez, a fifth grade student at MCDS, organized a beach cleanup in Miami Shores to raise awareness on the pressing issue of pollution and climate change in Florida. 

Camila won a GIEB grant and used the award money to fund the cleanup. With the help of family members, activist sponsors, and volunteer students and teachers Camila’s team managed to collect 55 pounds of trash. Camila said she was very happy with the result of the cleanup. 

Approximately 60 people participated, including two speakers who talked about the importance of recycling and not using plastic. “Overall, I think it was great,” said Camila.

When organizing events such as this there’s usually something the orchestrators strive to achieve. For Camila it was communal awareness.“I did not have a specific amount of trash as a goal. I did not really know how many people would show up. I was hoping at least 20 people would participate in the cleanup. I was very surprised and happy about the quantity of participants.” Valezquez stated. “I’m very happy that more people understand the importance of taking care of our planet.”

After the cleanup all the collected waste needs to be disposed of. “Once we collected all the trash I brought it all home with me for the recycling truck to come pick it up,” said Valezquez.

With every brilliant idea there’s always a spark. What inspired this project? Camila said. “Everytime I walked around the neighborhood I saw trash, especially plastic, and I thought it would be a good idea to create awareness on the importance of taking care of our community and planet.”

There is only one Earth and that’s this one; if we don’t preserve and protect it all known life in our galaxy will become nonexistent. What world do you want to live in? A lush green world or a toxic wasteland? The decision is yours. If an elementary school girl can start a chain reaction of change who’s to say you can’t too?

“It was great to see that from an idea I was able to organize a whole event with the help of my parents and sponsors.” Camila said.