NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – Students from Albert Leonard Middle School took to the beaches recently, but left their bathing suits at home.
In temperatures just above freezing, the 38 students spent a Saturday scouring Five Islands Park Beach, cleaning the shores of trash, according to a statement from the school.
The cleanup was organized by the Pay It Forward Club as a day of service, the statement said, adding that the National Junior Honor Society also joined in the effort.
"It was freezing. It was muddy and it was low tide," said Sara Yeterian, a special education teacher at Albert Leonard and a facilitator of the school's Pay It Forward Club. "I was so impressed with the enthusiasm of these students. In 20-degree temperatures, on a Saturday morning, they were fierce, excited and worked non-stop."
The group collected enough trash to fill more than 30 bags and gathered several large pieces of scrap metal, according to organizers. An errant shopping cart also was pulled out of the muck by 10 students combining their strength.
"This is so much fun," said Raul Maldenado, an eighth-grade student at Albert Leonard. "When can we do it again?"
Among the community organizations to contribute to the day of service was L.L. Bean of Yonkers, which, according to organizers, provided the trash bags and gloves for the students.