By Norma Richman
“We want the school to be clean so it’s a nice environment for everyone. By making it fun, it might turn into a fun tradition and the school will be the place everyone wants to be.”—Madison R.
Leaders-in-the-making Charlotte W. and Madison R. saw a problem on campus and went about planning a campaign that would invite all students to become part of the solution. It all started when the girls noticed how messy the outdoor areas of the school could become amid the rush to get to class or lunch or recess: jackets, sweaters, lunch bags, trash everywhere. It seemed to these girls that there must be a better way. Charlotte described the moment of inspiration: “We were lining up for locker rooms. Mrs. Haines was nearby and noticed the mess too.”
Soon the two had hatched a plan. After approval from Mrs. Haines, they set to work naming their campaign, designing motivational stickers and badges, and developing a book-keeping method to track volunteers. The result was HPAS Helpers—Helping People Around School.
Madison explained how the pair promoted HPAS: “Charlotte and I thought of a ‘fun way’ to clean up. We wrote scripts to tell people about our idea. We were kind of teaching life lessons.” The script was transformed into an inspirational video that went viral around school. Madison continued, “Then we made a bookmark badge for the helpers to wear.”
Charlotte added, “Some days we wouldn’t go to recess; we went to Mrs. Haines to talk over our ideas. We designed HPAS—‘Helping People Around School’—stickers to be awarded to whoever picks up the most trash. An advisor, like a lunch or recess supervisor, records how many pieces are collected. I think this is very important because we are helping the school stay clean for many new students so they see a clean space.”
Mrs. Kristin Haines summed up HPAS as a continuation of High Point’s Eagle Pride code: “Their concerns were truly based on what we have taught over the years—showing Eagle Pride by being kind to each other, cleaning up trash and taking sweaters back to their rightful owners. The girls developed the idea and met with me for a series of meetings to try and create a campaign that would help spread the message that our students care! I am especially proud of the follow through. It is a great success and students are loving their new jobs. I can already see the effects around campus! Our kids love HPA!”
See Madison’s and Charlotte’s video here: