St. John Brebeuf Secondary School raises Earth’s Day awareness

Students write articles about their Adopt-A-Street program

Cleaning up local streets are St. John Brebeuf Secondary School students (left to right) Kyle Hehn

Cleaning up local streets are St. John Brebeuf Secondary School students (left to right) Kyle Hehn

The following submitted articles were written by Marketing 11 students at St. John Brebeuf Secondary School

Adopting a City, One Bag at a Time

By Shayne Oberhoffner

They may not have a jolly little tune they sing while working, but the Saint John Brebeuf Secondary School Adopt-a-Street program speaks volumes nonetheless. The program was inaugurated by Math and Business teacher, Christine Tsou, in October 2011 and has gained favour around the school and community. It has grown from being just a garbage route to an activity that students not only prognosticate, but find gratification through participation.

From Old Yale to Blue Jay, and the base of Townline to Upper Maclure, the streets have undergone a facelift that even Hollywood would be envious of.  The Marketing 11 students take one of the other first period classes, and while being supervised by the teaching staff of each class, proceed into the community. Using safety vests, garbage tongs, and garbage bags provided by the City of Abbotsford, the students venture onto the sidewalks to pick up discarded trash.

Through the act of removing trash, students not only create a more visually appealing cityscape, but a healthier environment for the ever-changing Abbotsford population. Aside from the normal banana peels, tissues, and burger wrappers, finds range from shelving units to bicycles, and automobile parts to snow shovels.

The Marketing 11 class that inherited the responsibility of Adopt-a-Street has experienced firsthand the difference not only externally, but internally as well. A nice day morning walk and good conversation benefits everyone. Adopt-a-Street turns a loathed and seemingly insufferable Monday morning into chattering students and joyful laughs. Through mentorship to the younger grades, and partnership with the older ones, we truly learn leadership, co-operation, patience, and communication skills.

By presenting themselves as a role model to the community as well as other schools, Saint John Brebeuf has impressed not only the city council, but the mayor of Abbotsford. Due to their community involvement, the Marketing 11 class has been asked to lead Community Clean-Up Week and Earth Day activities. The ultimate goal is to have schools and neighbourhoods all over Abbotsford adopting their streets, with Saint John Brebeuf spearheading the initiative. Abbotsford will become renowned for not only their berries, but their Community attitude, cleanliness, and stewardship.


Leading the Way to a Cleaner City

By Christian Gulka

Adopt-a-Street is a great way to give back to the community, and St. John Brebeuf high school has been showing this city how it can really shine. SJB has dedicated itself to cleaning Abbotsford’s roads, and showing the local community that this city can be even better.

The Adopt-a-Street program started  back in October of 2011 when the Business and Math teacher, Christine Tsou, proposed a project to serve the city, and impact the community in a positive way. Since then this small challenge has grown into a large school-wide program. SJB has been working hard as a community to maintain and improve their streets and leave a visible impact for all to see. This program also started a leadership task, which was upheld, each year, by Mrs. Tsou’s Marketing/Business class.

This class continued its commitment to lead groups of students out to the streets around the school pick up garbage. Every week leaders from the Marketing class take students from all grades to help out. These students do their best to evidently help the neighbourhood environment. As a student leader involved in this task I find it a really rewarding experience. Not only do we get to help out the city, and see how we as a school impact Abbotsford, but I have also learned many valuable skills. I have had to develop a leadership quality, as it is my responsibility for my group to come back safely and unharmed.

Cleaning up the roads is a  great activity. It shows everyone what our school is all about. This job helps so many people, and affects our town in such an awesome way. SJB is leading the way for the public awareness of our project, and inspiring others schools to follow, so the whole city can clean up the city, starting with other schools in this school district. SJB has big dreams for the bold project, but we know that other schools and the rest of the city are ready to help tackle the trash.

The Adopt-a-Street program at St. John Brebeuf continues to be a great way for our school to be involved with helping the city, and inspire many others to do the same. We hope to pave the way for many others to do the same, and make Abbotsford the best it has ever been.



St. John Brebeuf Brings

By Sebastian Gulka

Since October 2011, students at St. John Brebeuf High School have been hard at work cleaning the streets of Abbotsford of garbage. It was started by Mrs. Christine Tsou’s Business 10 class as a way to show others that it is possible for anyone to make a difference. Since then, it has been carried out by the whole school ever since, with Mrs. Tsou’s current Marketing 11 class taking on the mantle of leadership.

Every week our class goes out into the streets around our school to pick up garbage and improve our city, cleaning up garbage on Townline, Upper Maclure, and Old Yale to Blue Jay streets. It is a great way to give back to the community, as it is a simple, yet effective way that we can give back to our city.

It has had a definite effect on the streets cleaned, as garbage levels in the surrounding streets have become noticeably less. It also brings a good feeling to you, as you know that you have done something that is being noticed by other people, and is just a good thing to do.

As a student leader here at SJB, I feel like this is the perfect way to give back to the community. You know that when you are doing it, it might be cold or raining, but it makes you warm inside, realizing that you  have contributed to a good cause and made the world just that much of a cleaner place. It is a good way of showing how anyone can make a difference in their community, and hopefully other people in Abbotsford and even all over B.C. will follow this example and clean up the streets near them.

In the future, I think we can have a completely garbage-free city. It may seem like a lot, but many things have small beginnings, and with the help of the community, anything is possible. It has so much potential, as it is the starting point of change. It was SJB that started it, but if schools and communities all around the province start doing this, it will be amazing. There has already been so much change in our community, that I think it is easily possible for other people to follow this example.