Litter Critters

Angie Holland/The Herald

The Cat in the Hat and friends helped illustrate the importance of recycling and not littering to elementary school students for the Litter Critters event on Earth Day.

OSKALOOSA — On Earth Day, the Cat in the Hat, along with Thing One and Thing Two and the Oskaloosa Middle School (OMS) council, visited kindergarten through second-graders to tell all about littering and the troubles it causes.

This is the seventh year for Litter Critters. The OMS students remember Litter Critter presentations from when they were younger and were excited for their turn to share.

“It’s been a good program,” said Main Street Director Karen Hafner. “It focuses on littering. We have a real push in the community to reduce, reuse and recycle, but we don’t talk often about litter.”

Wearing bright red Litter Critters T-shirts, the OMS student council members went into classrooms at Oskaloosa Christian School to give presentations and skits about how littering is bad for the environment and ways to reduce, reuse and recycle. The Cat in the Hat, Thing One and Thing Two made a special appearance to the kindergarten classroom.

“I’m the Cat in the Hat, and I came all the way from Oskaloosa Middle School. Does anyone know what day it is?” asked the performer. “I brought some friends along with me to teach you guys about recycling and throwing away.”

The kindergarteners, who were also wearing Litter Critters shirts, giggled when Thing One and Thing Two popped up out of their box, and listened closely to the presentation about littering.

“With it being Earth Day, let’s talk about the difference between recycling and throwing away trash,” said the Cat in the Hat.

The youngsters played a game with the Dr. Seuss characters. Each child was given a card that had the name of an item on it, and they had to decide whether it should be recycled or thrown away. Middle school students helped the younger students with unfamiliar words. Things like used tissues and dirty diapers were easy — those go in the trash. The kindergarteners knew that pop cans and newspapers go in the recycling. Latex gloves, and shampoo bottles were a little harder.

After the ten-minute program, the Litter Critters crew said goodbye, packed up and got back on their bus and headed to Oskaloosa Elementary School for another round of Earth Day educating and litter prevention.

Hafner thanked local businesses for sponsoring the Litter Critters T-shirts, as well as Molly McCaully and Kirsten Stek, OMS student council sponsors; Dana Sereg from Osky Elementary and Ruth DeBruin from Osky Christian. “It’s a busy time but they still make time to let this happen at the end of the school year. They work with those kids to make good presentations,” she said. “It is time consuming, but the elementary kids love it. Year after year, they continue to support the program and go the extra mile to make sure it happens for the kids.”

Herald staff writer Angie Holland can be reached at and followed on Twitter @OskyAngie.

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