11/13/2013 9:53:00 AM Commentary America the Beautiful: challenging youth with 'Bag Ready Jobs' to clean up highways in Yavapai County
by Gary Chamberlain Special to the Tribune
As proud Americans, will we honor our Armed Forces, veterans and communities by participating in the "America the Beautiful and BagReadyJobs" effort?
The "America the Beautiful and BagReadyJobs" effort is a teaching, learning and earning opportunity for our nation's youth groups. "BagReadyJobs" is funded by community businesses and residents.
Youth groups learn how to develop marketing, sales, service and billing skills for their services rendered, by negotiating fees between $7 and $10 with local businesses and residents for picking up litter on the highway and filling 33-gallon bags. The youth also assist local Adopt-a-Highway groups.
The nation's official Adopt-A-Highway group leaders document the participation of the youth groups and the number of bags they fill. The youth groups provide a copy of the Adopt-A-Highway group leader's confirmation of their participation and the number of bags they filled to their funding sponsors.
In addition to displaying the trash-filled bags on the highway for four days as part of creating an awareness, education and recognition opportunity, the youth are required to write a 500-word essay that addresses five questions:
1) What did you learn?
2) What solutions might reverse the occurrence of highway litter and recycling efforts?
3) How does highway litter impact the economy of your community?
4) In addition to the negative economic effects, how does highway litter reflect on the residents?
5) What will you do to make a difference?
Those providing funding pay the youth groups for their services once all of the obligations have been fulfilled.
"America the Beautiful and BagReadyJobs" litter events are being promoted nationwide on the third Saturday of February, May, August and November. However, many Adopt-A-Highway groups select random dates for their cleanup activities. Our goal is to connect America's Adopt-A-Highway groups needing help with youth groups wanting to help. Folksville USA would like to receive copies of the essays written so we may share them with others.
"America the Beautiful and BagReadyJobs" is the perfect opportunity for city and town leaders to challenge their community businesses and residents to support local youth groups that want to earn their funding. These young adults are our future role models and leaders. Recycling activities and getting some exercise are additional benefits.
Contact information for the 50-state Adopt-A-Highway Coordinators is available by contacting Folksville USA@gmail.com
Founder Gary Chamberlain, a Cornville resident, is retiring from Folksvillle USA and passing on the baton after traveling more than 14,000 miles promoting the program across the U.S.
His final organized "Leap Frog" event takes place this Saturday, Nov. 16, across Yavapai County. All are invited to help clean up highways, "BagReady" or not.