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Johnson cadets Taps Out Trash

Johnson High School Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) cadets volunteered their Saturday to put on a bright yellow reflective vest and start cleaning up Taps Memorial Boulevard this weekend. The cadets, along with Command Sergeant Major (retired) Richard Sizer, joined Keep San Antonio Beautiful (KSAB) and Councilman Carlton Soules of District 10 to partner together to beautify the boulevard.

The cadets demonstrated their strong commitment to keep their adopted section of the roadway clean in conjunction with the city-wide Graffiti Wipe Out event.

Planning for this activity began in July when the cadets learned of this city-wide event. Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Ellen Pennington, Cadet Battalion Commander, initiated the idea of Johnson cadet participation and immediately engaged her cadet staff in the planning for this event which she presented to her JROTC instructors for approval. Once approved, Cadet First Lieutenant Mirella Torres, Battalion S6 (Community Relations and Recruiting Officer) contacted the City Councilman’s office to coordinate all the details and ensure the necessary resources were available to include police traffic control for the safety of the cadets.

"We had just finished completely filling the back of a truck with trash, when City Councilmen Soules dropped by to thank us for our efforts," said Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Pennington. "He was thoroughly impressed with our efforts to clear such a vast area in such a short amount of time. It was then that he offered to take us out to eat absolutely amazing barbeque."

In November 2009, the Johnson JROTC adopted a section of Taps Memorial Boulevard through the KSAB “Adopt-a –Spot” program. The KSAB program offers individuals, groups, schools, and businesses the opportunity to select an area of town and assume responsibility for regularly cleaning it. KSAB supports the groups by providing trash bags, litter pick-up tools, safety vests, and other needed materials.

"As I saw people cleaning the graffiti off the walls, I became more aware of how harmful both graffiti and trash are to our community," said Cadet First Lieutenant Alice Doyle. "I am sure people who litter our roads with something as small as a cigarette butt, are not thinking about the harmful effect it has on our environment."

"As part of the JROTC academic curriculum, the cadets learn the difference between 'community service' and 'service learning,'" said LTC (Retired) Alan W. Maitland. "In many states, a judge or court system will mandate some type of work for infractions of the law and often it appears in the form of community clean-up. Whereas, 'service learning' is a step up from 'community service,' as it brings academics to life and is driven by cadet involvement in every stage of project initiation, planning, execution, and a reflection period to think about what they learned."

Johnson cadets Taps Out TrashJohnson cadets Taps Out TrashJohnson cadets Taps Out Trash

Posted on October 1, 2012