Amanda Passaggio, Grade 4
Ms. DeRosa, Teacher / Abraham Lincoln School, Revere
"P is for Pollution"
One day while I was walking to 123 Sesame Street, I saw Oscar the Grouch in his dirty old trash can. He was cleaning out some of the trash and was about to dump it into a storm drain. I said, “Stop, Oscar! Don’t you know what happens to the storm drain when you do that?” “No. What happens to the storm drain?” he said, as he pulled the trash back into the can.
Before I said anything, I had an idea. “I’ll be right back,” I said. I then ran into the house to get Elmo, Big Bird and the Cookie Monster. I told them that we should make a presentation about why people shouldn’t throw things down the storm drain.
I then went back out to talk to Oscar. I told him, “If you drop a crumb of that trash into that storm drain, you are breaking the law, and I know that you don’t want to break the law, Oscar.” He agreed and looked at me as if he were starting to understand why he shouldn’t dump the trash into the storm drain.
Soon after, Cookie Monster came out. As he was eating a cookie, he asked Oscar, “Do you know where the storm drain leads to?” Oscar replied, “No, I don’t. Where does it lead to?” Cookie Monster said, “Lakes, rivers and oceans.”
“After all of the trash flows into the ocean, it will look like what the Boston Harbor looked like until the MWRA cleaned it. Do you want that to happen to all of our bodies of water?”
“No!” Oscar replied. Cookie Monster and Oscar started to think about how the water would look. They wanted to swim in crystal clear blue water, and not water that was heavily polluted with trash and chemicals.
Big Bird came out a few minutes later and said, “Why do you think that storm drains exist, Oscar?”
Oscar shrugged his shoulders and said, “Why?”
Big Bird said, “They are for when we have storms. They drain all of the precipitation, so we don’t have floods in our streets and our homes don’t get ruined. Do you want your trash to get flooded by water, Oscar?” Oscar shook his head no. When Big Bird left, Oscar imagined his trash can flooded with water and how he would have no place to live.
Finally, Elmo came to talk to Oscar the Grouch. He said, “Where do you think the water goes when it rains or when snow melts?”
Oscar pointed to the storm drain. Elmo said, “Now think about what happens to those storm drains when people throw things into them. Where do you think the trash goes?”
Oscar replied, “I don’t know. Doesn’t the MWRA clean them?”
Elmo said, “The MWRA cleans the water we throw down our sinks and other water sources from our homes through the sewer system. They are extremely important, but they aren’t responsible for cleaning the water in storm drains. That water goes to our oceans, lakes and rivers. Eventually, these bodies of water will become polluted. Oscar, please don’t pollute the Earth. Help us stop people from polluting the Earth. We can make a difference in making the world pollution free. If we tell everyone we know, we can all make a difference.”
Oscar agreed as he screamed, “Help stop the world from being polluted! Stop throwing items down storm drains and be responsible.”
The next day, Oscar spent the whole morning in his trash can working on a Save the Earth project. Elmo, Big Bird, Cookie Monster and I asked him what he was doing and he replied, “I am making posters, want to see?” I said, “OK!” and looked at his signs. The posters said Don’t be aGrouch. Throw your trash in a pouch!
The next day we hung up posters and started to clean the neighborhood’s lakes, rivers and shallow parts of the ocean. We were so happy that a very important lesson about our environment was learned that day.
Today’s episode of Sesame Street, “P for Pollution” was brought to you by the letters: M, W, R and A.
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