TENS of thousands of schoolkids will discover it’s easy being green after receiving a copy of a new short story by a multi award-winning Renfrewshire author.

More than 14,000 primary school pupils have been given a copy of Ross MacKenzie’s ‘The Clumps’ Big Mess’, which aims to teach them about the damage littering can do to the environment while also highlighting the success of Renfrewshire Council’s Team Up to Clean Up campaign.

Interactive versions have been created to allow teachers to use the story as an accessory in the classroom, while an audio version is available to help bring the story to life.

The Gazette:

Yesterday, Ross visited his old school Kirklandneuk Primary, in Renfrew, where his daughters and the book’s main characters Selina and Molly now attend, to read his story to the pupils.

He said: “It was great fun to write this book. Two of the characters are named after my own kids and, when I write a book, I try to look at it from a child’s point of view.

“I hope the book achieves the message that we should look after the amazing surroundings we have and, if it plays a small part in that, then we’ve done our job.”

The Gazette:

The story, commissioned by Renfrewshire Council, focuses on the Clump family, who deliberately fail to pick up after themselves and their pet dog Murphy.

Selina and Molly’s carefree attitude leads to a world full of litter and they learn a lot about the damage that can be done if people don’t take pride in where they live. 

The Clumps’ Big Mess has been illustrated by Neil Slorance and his creations have been brought to life as cardboard cut-outs which will tour schools throughout Renfrewshire.

The book forms part of a drive to educate pupils further on the aims of the Team Up to Clean Up campaign in a fun way, with pupils having already been involved in litter picks since the campaign began in 2017.

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Renfrewshire’s environment boss, said: “We’re delighted every primary pupil will have the opportunity to lose themselves in a book and learn the important message Team Up to Clean Up promotes.

The Gazette:

“While we want to make an immediate impact to the cleanliness of the area, we know that educating the next generation is just as important.”

“They are learning all the time in their younger years so it’s vitally important that we ensure they recognise the damage littering can do and let them lead from the front in the future.

The Gazette: Cllr Cathy McEwanCllr Cathy McEwan

“We’ve already seen their enthusiasm to take part in litter picks with their schools and I hope this fantastic new book will further keep the message at the forefront of their minds.”

The investment in the campaign has also facilitated local communities to undertake litter picks by providing them with gloves, litter pickers, bags and hoops, as well as the support of the council’s Wardens Service and StreetScene team who remove all rubbish following the completion of the community clean up.

For more information on the Team Up to Clean Up campaign, visit here.

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