Schools across Gaston County earned recognition for clean campuses this spring in annual competitions sponsored by Keep Gastonia Beautiful and Keep Belmont Beautiful.
In the Gastonia competition, students helped clean up schools and completed beautification projects on campuses. Judging was based on overall appearance.
“I Love a Clean School” awards were given to Belmont Central Elementary, Bessemer City Central Elementary, Bessemer City High, Brookside Elementary, Carr Elementary, Cherryville High, Sadler Elementary, Forestview High, Gardner Park Elementary, Gaston Christian School, Gaston Day School, Grier Middle, Beam Elementary, Highland School of Technology, Lingerfeldt Elementary, McAdenville Elementary, New Hope Elementary, Pleasant Ridge Elementary, Piedmont Community Charter School, Sherwood Elementary, St. Michael's School, York Chester Middle, Bess Elementary, Warlick School and Webb Street School.
Each winning school received a certificate of accomplishment and a clean-school flag to display on campus.
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Keep Belmont Beautiful's annual competition, meanwhile, focused on campus beautification.
Award winners were Belmont Middle, Belmont Central Elementary, North Belmont Elementary, South Point High and Page Primary.
Each school received a clean campus award sign to place on the school grounds.
Organizers of the two annual events see the competition as a way to recognize hard-working school custodians and student environmental groups as well as instill a respect for tidiness among youngsters.
In related news, Keep Belmont Beautiful drew 140 volunteers for its recent City Pride Day. Volunteers picked up 257 bags of debris, totaling about 2 tons of trash. Total bulk trash, which is trash collected by city workers, tipped the scales at 15.7 tons.
Keep Belmont Beautiful officials considered it good news that less trash was collected than in past years. Twenty-two of the group's 30 target areas were cleaned.
Volunteers at City Pride Day represented Belmont Abbey College, the Reid Community, South Point High School's Junior ROTC, the Town & Country Garden Club, the Gaston County Sheriff's Department and Boy Scouts from First United Methodist Church and Park Street Methodist Church.
Participants met at Stowe Park after the cleanup for a hot dog lunch and entertainment provided by Belmont Abbey. Chick-fil-A and McDonald's donated food coupons.
Vernon Abernathy and Elizabeth Atterberry co-chaired City Pride Day.
Sponsors were Ray McKenney Dealerships, Community One Bank, First National Bank, 3 Hip Chicks, Belmont Bicycles, New Bridge Children's Academy, McLean Funeral Directors, Complete Eye Care, Hannon Orthodontics, Cottage Keepers, Watson Insurance Agency, Don Hartose of Edward Jones, Wal-Mart, Caromont Medical Group, School Resources, Sportsman Screen Printing, The UPS Store and Walgreens.