The Virgin Islands Department of Education (VIDOE) in partnership with the Virgin Islands Department of Tourism (VIDOT) has launched the “Clean Places. Happy Faces.” anti-litter campaign at elementary schools across the territory.
The campaign, which promotes the importance of keeping the territory litter-free, targets students in grades K-6 and is represented by Squeaky, a mascot in the form of a friendly, smiley face emoji, who encourages students to “Keep the VI Clean.” Phase I of the campaign, which was introduced at public, private and parochial schools the week of Nov. 14-18, provided students with a sticker depicting Squeaky and the campaign’s message “Clean Places. Happy Faces.” A poster competition has also been introduced, which asks students to create drawings that depict local places with and without litter. Posters should be on standard 8-1/2×11 paper.
“We live in paradise and it is so important that we keep these beautiful Virgin Islands clean for all of us to enjoy. We have high hopes that the Clean Places Happy Faces campaign will instill a sense of pride in our students, parents and our entire community to help in preserving the pristine beauty of our islands,” said Education Commissioner Sharon Ann McCollum.
Commissioner of Tourism Beverly Nicholson-Doty echoed those sentiments. “Tourism is all of us, and our people are our greatest treasure; therefore, it is important that our destination reflects the beauty of its people. We should take pride and ownership in keeping the USVI clean because this is our home. We must preserve our destination for our families and visitors alike.”
In Phase II of the campaign, which will roll out on Dec. 19, students will receive a reusable tote bag containing books and other items that promote a litter-free V.I. The campaign will continue through 2017 with various contests, giveaways and activities for students. It also comes ahead of the territory-wide ban on plastic bags scheduled to take effect in January 2017.
For more information about the Clean Places Happy Faces campaign, visit www.vide.vi.
Poster competition: Grades K-6 Education officials will collect winning school posters beginning Dec. 19. One poster will be selected to represent each district. The winning schools will receive prizes.