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Elementary and college students clean up local park to help cut down crime in Newport News

About three dozen students picked up trash at Stuart Gardens park as part of the ASEZ Cleanup with Youth Crime Prevention Movement.

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — Elementary and college students came together on Friday to do their part in helping cut down on crime in Newport News.

Friday morning, about twenty fourth and fifth grade students from the Discovery STEM Academy elementary school picked up trash with about 20 university students from across Hampton Roads. They tried to make a difference by cleaning up the area around Stuart Gardens.

It’s all part of the ASEZ Cleanup with Youth Crime Prevention Movement. The organization’s mission is to help meet a community’s needs through service.

Roslyn Rewis is one of the volunteers helping clean the park. She explained that a clean environment means people are less likely to commit a crime in a community.

“Even something as small as keeping it clean and tidy community actually does reduce crime in the future,” said Rewis. “We have more appreciation for our community, and it causes a domino effect also around."

Christine Pilger is Principal for Discovery STEM Academy.

“It makes me feel good, it makes me feel proud,” said Pilger.

She said crime in the community impacts their students.

“It hits close to home, which makes our job even harder,” she said.

So, having volunteer opportunities through ASEZ makes a positive impact on the community and students. It’s a full circle, with the kids taking a stand against crime by keeping this park clean.

“Having organizations to help with this part, helps us,” said Pilger.

In all, the group picked up nearly a dozen bags of trash from the park. Pilger said the school hopes to participate in this community service annually.

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