PickerPals have been on the road, visiting schools and having an absolute blast catching up with programme participants all over the country.
When we looked at all the schools on our Picker Pals Map with those 30,000 families out on local litter-picking adventures, it made us want to visit them all.
We’d have to have superhuman powers to visit 1060 schools though, so we set ourselves the challenge of visiting at least one school in every one of the Ireland’s 31 local authorities by the end of the school year next month.
To make the ride a bit more comfy, and to turn heads along the way, we were delighted to accept support from BMW Ireland who as well as facilitating the roll-out of the programme in at least another 50 schools, have furnished us with a fabulous all-electriciX3 to smoothly and quietly bring us to our destinations.
What’s more, it’s branded with Picker Pals characters all over! Kids just love it when we roll up– gasps of “It’s the Picker Pals!” can be heard around the playground. One little boy even asked could we swap it with his mum’s car!
The visits include an anti-litter talk based on the story of the Cloak of Howth, a noisy and colourful garment that brings to life the impact we are having on the environment. The kids love to interact with it and the air is full of the sound of their amazed exclamations and questions about where all the stuff came from. It’s a perfect teaching opportunity.
The definite highlight of the visit from the children’s point of view is when we go out of the classroom into the school yard to take part in the Olympicker Games
The idea is to make litter-picking fun and for everyone to associate litter-picking with good times. There are a variety of events and judging by the enthusiasm, we’re hitting the spot. Nobody in this world is more competitive than a team of 7-year-olds.
We have visited 25 local authorities so far with six to go. It’s been an absolute privilege to have this chance to see our utterly beautiful country with all its variety and natural splendour. To be able to roll into towns, villages and the spaces between and receive a warm welcome from enthusiastic and friendly schools is great and all the children know us and Craig the Crab from Picker Pals TV
And of course, kids say the funniest things. I was ask last week if I was going to stay the night at one school. I politely refused and went to stay at an AirBnB where coincidentally, my hostess was the school’s bus driver.
It’s a delight to see the genuine commitment in teachers and children all over the country to participate in this sort of local stewardship and spread the action and message of Picker Pals. We are forging behavioural and attitudinal change around the issue of waste, litter, consumption and happy to be having fun as we go.
In other news, Picker Pals have learned that the programme will again be funded for the2022-23 school year for a whole new cohort of children. Interested schools should sign our expression of interest form HERE
Our goal remains to roll-out the programme in every school in Ireland.
Roll on the Picker Pals!