Making Palmetto pristine

December 12, 2016

A typical day at Miami Palmetto Senior High brings trash-covered hallways, disorganized bookshelves and cluttered workspaces. The administrators decided that it was time for a change. In the 2015-2016 school year, the administrators at Miami Palmetto Senior High school created Pristine Palmetto, a program to drive students to clean up the campus.

Students regularly rely on custodians to clean up their messes. Between the remaining lunches scattered throughout the Pawvillion and the wrappers on classroom floors, the waste becomes too much for only the janitors to tend to.

“[The students] are the ones who are the most exposed to it and are sometimes the ones to to cause most of the problems,” student activities director Elizabeth Valero said.

After controversy filled the web in January 2015, following students posting photos depicting unsanitary bathrooms and roach- infested floors, the administrators took action.

Each club takes part in cleaning up the school for a month of the year to bring their members together to help make Palmetto pristine, some even choosing certain areas. Health Occupation Students of America used Pristine Palmetto to not only clean the teachers’ lounge, but also to decorate for the holidays.

“I enjoy knowing that something little can go a long way,” HOSA president Savannah Hodges said. “And whether or not the teachers appreciate it, I just like knowing that the members of HOSA care for our school and I appreciate that they take their time to participate.”

Administrators hope to drive students to keep the place where they spend eight hours of their days, five days a week, clean. The program wants to encourage students to value cleaning up after themselves.

“They can all feel like they can roll up their sleeves one time a year,” Valero said.

In the upcoming month of January, Alliance, Key Club, Florida Future Educators of America, Spanish Club and Model United Nations will participate.The officers can choose any day in the month that was signed up for to clean. If helpful, clubs can also meet that day to kill two birds with one stone. This program provides a chance to promote responsibility and taking ownership.

“Kids have realized that they have to come together to make that kind of difference.” Valero said.  

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