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Buffalo United Charter School Participates in City-Wide Clean Up Day

On Saturday, May 15, a group of Buffalo United Charter School (BUCS) students participated in the 1st Annual University District Clean Up Day.
The BUCS Clean Up Crew gathered that morning at the sight and got their gear, gloves, bags, trash grabbers, brooms, and shovels ready. They spent a few hours cleaning up three vacant lots near their school building in the City of Buffalo. This was a city-wide event with many of the surrounding districts hosting similar events.
Teresa Gerchman, principal at BUCS, explained that this event allowed the school to not only be a part of the community, but to also show stewardship for their city. It was a family friendly event and staff members even brought their children with them to support the local community.

clean up volunteers
“As a school we are a part of the community and it is important to give to the community we are a part of,” said Gerchman. “As a school we were able to do a service for the community and allow members of our community to get to know us in a different light.”

student and teachers smiling
This project aligns closely with Buffalo United’s emphasis on Moral Focus virtues. “This activity allowed our school to show gratitude to the community by respecting and cleaning up the neighborhood,” said Gerchman. “While completing the clean-up, we learned how to have compassion for those who have less than us and are not as able to do physical labor. This was a volunteer activity with no incentives, which allowed people to show integrity to do the right thing without any internal reward. We also learned about respecting our neighborhood by not throwing garbage on the ground.”

cleaning up a neighborhood
Students liked being outside of the school building and enjoyed making the neighborhood look good. They were amazed by how much garbage they picked up! The youngest team member said his favorite thing of the day was using the trash grabber.
“It is equally as important to focus on character as it is academics,” said Gerchman. “Our students are citizens of the world and we are trying to develop them into a whole person. Showing them examples of intrinsic rewards and the value of service is important to develop the whole person. It is also important for students who struggle with academics to get a chance to shine.”