Kids Who Care: Elementary student trades recess for trash pickup

Olivia Brown’s classmates are on the playground, but she’s carrying a plastic bag outside her school, looking for trash like she does every day during recess. Olivia’s mother, Kay Brown, says Olivia gave herself this cleaning role at the beginning of the school year.

Posted: Apr 6, 2021 3:58 PM
Updated: Apr 9, 2021 2:45 PM

MONROEVILLE, Ind. (WFFT) — For most elementary schoolers, recess is a break from work.

But for one Heritage Elementary student, it’s a time to clean up after others.

Olivia Brown’s classmates are on the playground, but she’s carrying a plastic bag outside her school, looking for trash like she does every day during recess.

Olivia’s mother, Kay Brown, says Olivia gave herself this cleaning role at the beginning of the school year.

"At first we were like, 'Well Olivia, you can play too. It’s alright.' And she just insisted on doing this. So we let her keep doing it, just picking up the trash and things. No one asked her. She just decided to do it on her own," Kay said.

The reason Olivia trades her playground time for trash duty?

"I care about the animals more than anything else," Olivia said. "They think the trash is food, and if they swallow it or choke on it, they will die."

Olivia’s teachers honored her earlier this year for keeping her school clean one piece of trash at a time.

"It’s very out of character for an 8-year-old, almost 9-year-old, to want to do something like that, so they were very excited and wanting to honor her for that," Kay said.

Heritage Elementary staff praised her in person and over the PA speaker for the entire school to hear.

Even outside of school, Olivia volunteers through 4-H and helps premature babies - like she used to be - during the March of Dimes.

"I think you should not underestimate kids. Don’t wait until they’re older to get them involved. Get them involved early. Find something that they’re passionate about, find something they really care about, and do something for other people," Kay said.

And what Olivia cares about right now is picking up after others.

She also plans to work on a project later this year to promote recycling.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 996341

Reported Deaths: 16245
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1343262101
Lake658231151
Allen57160791
Hamilton45963460
St. Joseph43954607
Elkhart35546503
Vanderburgh31975473
Tippecanoe27694256
Johnson24821440
Hendricks23647353
Porter22735362
Madison18538404
Clark18383248
Vigo17274300
Monroe15117197
LaPorte14987249
Delaware14931256
Howard14574286
Kosciusko12166147
Hancock11597175
Bartholomew11447179
Warrick11225188
Floyd10983214
Wayne10840248
Grant9898217
Morgan9361176
Boone8819115
Dubois8210129
Dearborn815492
Henry8107150
Noble7944106
Marshall7786134
Cass7462119
Lawrence7379168
Shelby7115114
Jackson691788
Gibson6480113
Harrison641591
Huntington630299
Knox6269105
DeKalb623796
Montgomery6184109
Miami586595
Putnam573477
Clinton567171
Whitley558055
Steuben550473
Wabash5250101
Jasper520475
Jefferson504695
Ripley492485
Adams472773
Daviess4596112
Scott433968
Greene421196
Wells419787
Clay418460
White414261
Decatur4118101
Fayette402186
Jennings383260
Posey374243
LaGrange352078
Washington352049
Randolph339999
Spencer336442
Fountain331858
Sullivan326652
Starke310868
Owen310169
Fulton304566
Orange290562
Jay278445
Perry264452
Franklin262742
Carroll258232
Rush257232
Vermillion254254
Parke229726
Pike227343
Tipton225659
Blackford187840
Pulaski181155
Crawford158122
Newton155648
Benton150117
Brown144047
Martin137319
Switzerland133911
Warren120116
Union106615
Ohio84012
Unassigned0532

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1490451

Reported Deaths: 23327
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1620041662
Cuyahoga1439412412
Hamilton1040301409
Montgomery727961240
Summit606541094
Lucas55296904
Butler50803707
Stark456401053
Lorain34875568
Warren32293369
Mahoning30057672
Clermont27811321
Lake26457434
Delaware23872162
Licking23361283
Trumbull22357552
Fairfield22081241
Greene21967311
Medina21624305
Clark19513349
Richland18225280
Portage17579247
Wood17122220
Allen15627269
Miami15259296
Muskingum14417174
Columbiana13587263
Wayne13494263
Tuscarawas12372298
Marion11742175
Scioto11313154
Pickaway11246141
Erie10586180
Ross10397196
Lawrence9630137
Hancock9476149
Ashtabula9370197
Belmont9059197
Geauga8766157
Jefferson8439191
Huron8172139
Union806256
Washington7995137
Sandusky7654145
Athens765372
Knox7539138
Darke7525151
Seneca7166144
Ashland6761125
Auglaize663396
Shelby6374111
Brown626282
Crawford6147130
Mercer605793
Defiance6043102
Fulton588596
Highland585899
Madison584976
Clinton573890
Logan566292
Guernsey564867
Preble5623121
Putnam5227108
Williams515384
Perry510661
Champaign500871
Jackson493470
Ottawa476686
Coshocton466382
Morrow448256
Pike428462
Fayette419960
Adams409287
Gallia408165
Hardin407176
Van Wert361578
Henry356671
Holmes3539122
Hocking349078
Wyandot315761
Carroll294559
Paulding274345
Meigs256849
Monroe210553
Noble195146
Morgan188132
Harrison177042
Vinton161124
Unassigned05
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