Chicago 4th graders clean up on Earth Day

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Fourth grade students from Agassiz Elementary on Chicago's North Side spent Earth Day on Monday cleaning up the area around their school.

"I feel pretty happy because it's helping the world be a better place," said student Braden Quach, 10, who along with his classmates, walked from their school to Weisman Park, picking up trash as they go.

"When people litter, some of the animals might mistake it for food and they eat it and they die," Braden said.

For these 4th graders, cleaning up on Earth Day is an activity they've done for several years already.

It's also a chance to think about their relationship with the planet.

"I feel like some people don't care about the earth as much as we do," said student Stephen Edwards.

"I'm starting to notice trash more, especially plastic and cigarettes and stuff," said student Mollie Pooler.

The students take seriously their chance to pitch in and to raise awareness about being more eco-friendly.

"We're really proud of them, excited for their enthusiasm and hoping that this sparks some greater interest in in them being advocates for whatever they're passionate about," said Freeda Pirillis, of Agassiz Elementary.

The clean-up activity kicks off a week of service for the kids.

Throughout the week, Agassiz students will clean up at different parks and along the lakefront. They will also volunteer at the Anti-Cruelty Society and read to preschool students.

It's been nearly 50 years since the first Earth Day was recognized in the U.S.
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