Valley High hosts lunch and learn on litter

Published 10:30 am Thursday, December 7, 2023

The war on litter in the county continues as Alabama PALS Coordinator Jamie Mitchell visited Valley High School for a lunch and learn session on Wednesday. 

Mitchell, who has worked with the Chambers County Commission and Valley High School ecology club, has been visiting several schools in the community to talk about litter.

“I’ve worked with Mrs. Emfinger for a couple of years now to try to get students more involved in that process so they understand why litter is bad and that they can make a big difference if they all work together just do a little bit each day,” Mitchell said. 

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The Alabama PALS (People Against a Littered State) organization advocates for a better-informed and more active community. Mitchell said the organization has several programs including Adopt a Mile, Don’t Drop it on Alabama, Spring Cleanup, Coastal Cleanup and Clean Campus, which was what she spoke to the students about Wednesday. 

Valley High’s ecology club sponsor and Media Specialist Ellen Emfinger hosted the event to help raise awareness about waste and about the club itself. Approximately 130 students attended the lunch and learn session throughout three lunch periods. 

Earlier this year, students from the Valley High School ecology club attended a ceremony after winning first place in the state for their Clean Campus project and scrapbook. Mitchell said the scrapbook documents all the engagement activities that the club took part in. 

“Our Clean Campus contest is for any school that is really involved and kind of takes it to the next level,” she said. 

Emfinger became involved with the AL PALS program while at LaFayette-Lanier Elementary. When the school closed, Emfinger and her high school students stayed involved by forming the ecology club.

LaFayette-Lanier Elementary School students won the state honorable mention award before closing. This year the VHS ecology club won first place and $1,000 in the AL PALS Clean Campus Program.

Emfinger said she likes the lunch and learn format as a way of engaging students in campus programs and hopes to continue hosting them. 

Mitchell’s goal is to get more students in the county involved and active. She has also visited LaFayette High School and plans to continue speaking at schools after Christmas break.

More information can be found about each of the AL PALS programs on the website www.alpals.org