2017-08-03 / Front Page

Pell Art Designed to Keep Broadway Cleaner

By James Merolla


Emma Hoag, one of Pell's fourth graders who submitted art for the "Don't Litter" campaign placed her drawing on Broadway with the help of Derrick Safo-Darko. (Photo by Lynne Tungett) Emma Hoag, one of Pell's fourth graders who submitted art for the "Don't Litter" campaign placed her drawing on Broadway with the help of Derrick Safo-Darko. (Photo by Lynne Tungett) The new look of old Broadway goes beyond the unveiled three-year construction project and the wide shiny stone sidewalks.

Along Newport’s main north-south downtown artery, a new organization has introduced artwork to inspire pedestrians to think anew about keeping Broadway unsullied. Clean Newport Clean Streets was formed this year following the success of the first-ever Broadway Street Fair. It was the first major campaign in an anti-litter project launched through the creative artwork designed by Pell Elementary School students.

Before the close of the school year, Clean Newport- Clean Streets worked with Pell art teacher Dianne Sheehan and her fourth-graders to create “Please Don’t Litter” posters. Twenty-eight colorful pieces of artwork were selected with the help of Newport’s Chamber of Commerce for placement in August from Washington Park to Equality Park.

“Children’s art that asks the public not to litter [we hope will] reach into the psyche of adult Newporters and tourists,” local volunteer Karl Nurse said. “Who would be so heartless to break the heart of a fourth-grader, especially if we place a trash can to deposit refuse nearby their artwork?”

Nurse added that, to address the problem of litter, "Communication and community involvement has the greatest success."

“This past Christmas, when the Broadway merchants bought Christmas trees to line Broadway and give the street a festive feel, the children from the Thomp-son School jumped at the chance to help decorate them,” he said. “And now the fourth-graders from the Pell Elementary School eagerly got involved in the activity.”

The Broadway Merchants Association will be helping place additional iron trash receptacles along Broadway as part of the city’s “Adopt a Barrel program.”

Norry’s, Caleb & Broad and Scratch restaurants, along with Lia’s Salon, are the first to participate, according to Nurse, who added that the receptacles will be cleaned and emptied as part of a teen summer civic program through the YMCA and the Boys and Girls Club of Newport.

“Involvement in [activities like this] boosts teenagers’ confidence and self-esteem and helps them build healthy lessons in civic responsibility,” Nurse said.

Clean Newport-Clean Streets will be “progressive” in its approach to nonprofits, focusing on civics, education and improving “social value, rather than any financial return,” Nurse said.

“Although the majority of local Newporters don’t litter, this outreach litter reduction campaign seeks to encourage all the citizens of Newport to do the right thing; to effectively be good role models,” he said. “Our goal is to persuade all of Newport to support the campaign.

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