Nashville Schools Partner with Public Works and Red River Service Corporation to Combine Waste Trucks and Student Artwork

Written by Jason Thomas for


 Last fall, the Nashville schools partnered with Nashville Public Works and Red River Service Corporation, the waste management company serving more the 86,000 homes within the city of Nashville. As part of Mayor Bill Purcell’s Celebrate Nashville, the group created and sponsored a very unique third and fourth-grade student art contest, called “Celebrate Nashville — Keep It Beautiful”.
The purpose of the Nashville schools contest was to educate the public of Nashville about waste management and recycling practices through the artwork of the Nashville schools students. Billy Lynch, director of Public Works, said the contest was a great way to teach Nashville schools children, as well as the public, about the importance of recycling and taking pride in keeping the city clean and beautiful.
Third and fourth graders from over 40 of the 72 elementary schools within the Nashville schools district participated. Students expressed themselves through their art, using creativity and art skills to educate people about recycling and keeping Nashville clean.
Of the hundreds of Nashville schools students who entered their artwork in the contest, 72 works were chosen in late November by a panel of judges. The panel included five city council members — Pam Murray, Emily Evans, Jim Shulman, Ginger Hausser, and Vivian Wilhoite, as well as Norree Boyd, executive director of the Metro Arts Commission. Mayor Purcell announced the winners at the kickoff event for Celebrate Nashville.
All 72 works were featured on the sides of Metro waste trucks to spread their message across the city beginning in December 2006. The artwork will remain on the trucks until this summer.
At the first of December, the first place winner of the contest saw a Metro waste truck pull up to her school, displaying her artwork on the side. City council member Vivian Wilhoite inspired the event in cooperation with Una Elementary School principal Dr. Kay Shepard. Almost 800 Nashville schools students the truck’s visit at Una Elementary with the artwork of two of its students displayed — one on each side of the truck. Each classroom went outside for a viewing during the three-hour event. Fourth grader Abigail Howland was the first place winner in the Nashville schools art contest, winning $1,500 for her school’s art department. Shakaya Murphy was runner up for first place.
Second place winner Cameron Webb won $1,000 for the Granberry Elementary School’s art department. Morgan Hite was the third place winner and won $500 for the Hermitage Elementary School art department.
Nashville schools student Abigail Howard also received recognition for her artwork, when it was featured in the December 2006 Nashville Christmas Parade.
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