Head of School Blog

Students Tackle the Problem of Cigarette Butts on Our Streets

Jill Singleton | Volume: 5 Issue: 4 | Oct. 7, 2015
Have you ever wondered why cigarette butts escape the litter laws, and it appears socially acceptable to just stamp out your cigarette and leave the butt on the sidewalk, street, boardwalk, or wherever people happen to hang out and smoke? Well, our Middle School students have, and they’re not content to just wonder – they’re doing something about it!

“People don’t think it’s that big of a deal,” Eighth Grader, Connor, shared about the issue. “But it’s a huge deal and it’s important and it’s very dangerous for the environment.” When asked what students hope will happen as a result of their work, Eighth Grader Diana said, “I hope we will raise awareness of the issue for the benefit of this generation and for generations to come.”

As part of their Month of the Young Adolescent (MOTYA) studies, each Middle School class is tackling the issue of cigarette butts on our streets from a variety of angles. Fifth Graders are composing letters to community leaders; Sixth Graders are creating an artistic and informative display to share with guests at our Leadership Summit; Seventh Graders are responsible for marketing and communications around the event; and Eighth Graders are conducting action research and are writing a speech to be shared at the Summit.

Please join the Eighth Grade research efforts by taking their survey here.
Treat yourself to an hour of listening to what our young people have to say about themselves, their community and the world by attending the month’s culminating event, the MOTYA Leadership Summit, on Thursday, October 29, 8:30am in the church. Show your support as our passionate and articulate students exercise their civic voices and develop their leadership skills while gaining a glimpse into the world as they experience it. “It’s important for adults to come to the Summit so that they can become aware of what adolescents think is a problem in our environment,” said Eighth Grader, Leyla.

Now in its seventh year, All Saints put the international Month of the Young Adolescent celebration on the map in New Jersey when it worked with the Governor to proclaim the event statewide in 2007. Many in our community are familiar with last year’s successful Leadership Summit, which focused on efforts to ban the use of plastic bags in Hoboken.

Month of the Young Adolescent is an annual international collaborative effort of education, health, and youth-oriented organizations. Initiated by the Association for Middle Level Education, the month is designed to focus on the needs of children ages 10 to 15. The key messages for the celebration are:
  • The importance of parents being knowledgeable about young adolescents and being actively involved in their lives;
  • The understanding that healthy bodies plus healthy minds equals healthy young adolescents;
  • The realization that the education young adolescents experience during this formative period of life will, in large measure, determine the future for all citizens; and
  • The knowledge that every young adolescent should have the opportunity to pursue his or her dreams and aspirations, and post-secondary education should be a possibility for all.
Questions, comments, ideas? I’d love to hear them! Email me: jsingleton@allsaintshoboken.com

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