Gr. 3 Service Learning: Community Plogging
by Nasci Lobo, Director of Communications and Marketing
Our grade three students and teachers have been quick to ride a new fitness trend that combines community environmentalism and health. Plogging is a Swedish activity that combines jogging and picking up debris and garbage along the route of one's run. The word is a portmanteau of "jogging" and the Swedish word plocka upp, meaning 'pick up'. Our grade three students conduct a slightly less vigorous plog for their service learning outings in Motomachi.
Their service learning partnership began with Itsukushima Shrine, in the heart of Motomachi. The students worked with the shrine, learning about its history, purpose and importance, and helped maintain the grounds of the shrine. It provided them with an opportune activity to create connection with their community.
The activity has now expanded from helping with the shrine only to viewing the shrine as part of the local community and environs, coupling the importance of civic engagement to the students' work. With the guidance of Mr. Sugishima, a member of the local neighborhood council and the main contact at the temple, the students began their plogging sojourns.
With long prongs, gloves and garbage bags in hand, the students work their way to the shrine, ridding their path of old wrappers, cans and other easily collectible debris. Given their limited amount of time, they do what they are able, and don't necessarily spend a long time in one area. But they are certainly noticed by the passersby and the local business people. They also acquaint themselves with the area better, noticing the stores, streets and condition of the neighborhood, albeit in a playful fashion indicative of their age, but nonetheless a vital component of civic engagement.
Opportunities such as this are created by the ICJC to enhance student engagement with the local community.
This is the seventh article in a series documenting the grade-specific and group activities of our service program. Learn more about our program on the Service Learning page.