Many parents will tell you that when they don't recycle at home, it's usually their children who remind them to clean up their act.
Imagine how the parents from William Bridge and Kathleen McNeely elementaries feel.
For the fourth year, Richmond schools participated in the My School Sparkles contest designed to educate students from Kindergarten to Grade 5 on important environmental and social issues.
The winners of this year's contest are William Bridge and Kathleen McNeely.
Every year, the city coordinates and sponsors the theatrical show by Dreamrider Theatre - Make Richmond Sparkle - for elementary school students. The show is fun, engaging and inspires students to take action on reducing solid waste and increasing recycling, as well as teaching them about the hazards of littering, vandalism and graffiti. Eight schools participated.
Students are then encouraged to demonstrate what they learn in the show by participating in the contest.
Data is collected about the condition of each of the participating school grounds before and after watching the show.
"Our school grounds are spectacular," said Wanda Salewski, principal for William Bridge.
"The children love going outside with the new garbage-picking tongs and often go out without even being asked. The classes on litter duty for the week often complain that they have no litter to pick up."
Social responsibility includes learning to be citizens that respect the environment, said Patrick von Hahn, Kathleen McNeely principal.
"A school that sparkles has committed to reducing littering and graffiti and these projects help students to build awareness and care for their schools and parks."
The objective was to see if any noticeable positive changes took place regarding litter and vandalism. The schools adopt an adjacent park or green space, they are provided with a special adoption sign, litter pickers and buckets so that they continue to keep their school grounds and adopted areas clean.
"The City of Richmond congratulates all the schools for participating, and the winning schools for their leadership and recognition," said Mayor Malcolm Brodie.