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Spirit of Acadiana: First Graders Salute Unsung Heroes

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Posted at 7:32 PM, Feb 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-26 08:28:07-05

LAFAYETTE, La.  — It was at Cathedral-Carmel School in Lafayette, where a couple weeks ago, during Catholic Schools Week, a group of first-graders were tasked with talking about sanitation workers and drawing—garbage trucks.

And what we got was great artwork with a message.

“So, Catholic Schools Week rolls around, Miss Chappuis (the teacher) comes in and says, ‘I’ve got a great idea, we’re gonna do…what?'” I asked Caroline.

She smiled and said, “Draw a garbage truck!!”

I then asked her, “What did you think of that?”

Caroline smiled and recalls incredulously, “We’re drawing a garbage truck?”

It was just a few weeks ago when Cathedral-Carmel first-graders in Ms. Chappuis’ class came to the realization that sanitation workers and their trucks… matter.

“If they weren’t around here,” explains Adam, “we would have like 10,000 pieces of trash around our world like every day.”

They took their crayons and their paper, and paid homage to the guys who get the job done.

It was art. It was appreciation.

“Everytime a truck would pass, we would wave at them and they would honk the horn, so I did a green truck with smoke coming out,” explains Sullivan. “

We watched a little video, and first we did the wheels and then we did the bumper and then drew all around that,” adds Liam, further explaining the process.

The artwork was then sent off to Bess Foret, Environmental Quality Manager at Lafayette Consolidated Government, who was suitably impressed by our six-and-seven year olds.

“I love the idea that they were thinking about somebody does come to remove that trash and the recycling from their house, day after day week after week and that it means something for our community, I was thrilled.”

Without sanitation workers? Well, the folks do a lot. “They help our community so that there’s no trash anywhere, and they help nature survive,” says Cecily.

Again… without sanitation workers? “If we didn’t have you, our city would stink a lot,” laughs Caroline.

Unsung heroes? Not today; not at Cathedral-Carmel!!

“Thank you, sanitation workers,” the first-graders cheered in unison.

So, any of you men or women who ride and drive a truck, then pick-up trash and recyclables? Guess what? These kids really think you’re heroes.

“We would like to thank them because we really really (really really really really really think they’re great) yes,” laughs Maggie.

It’s amazing work from amazing kids, proving there is indeed hope for the future. And they’re Parish Proud, too!

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