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Six-Year-Old Boy Spends Summer Cleaning Up Parks Instead of Going to The Beach To “Help The Earth”



  • 6-year-old AJ Retaleato decided to “clean up and help the earth” this summer instead of going to the beach.
  • So he told his parents he wanted to pick up trash on parks and school grounds.
  • Soon enough, his good deeds were recognized not only by his community but across the country.

For most people, summer is best spent on the beach. But 6-year-old AJ Retaleato thinks differently. 

The first-grader from Farmingdale, New York, told his surprised parents that he plans to “clean up and help the earth.” 

Photo Credit: Facebook

Anthony Retaleato, his proud dad, shared that he was initially shocked that his son prefers to collect trash rather than go to the beach.

“[AJ] wanted to pick up all the garbage,” the proud dad told Patch. “He said he felt bad for the earth. That was his quote that day. I’m like, ‘Alright, buddy.’”

So his supportive father agreed with his plans, gave him cleaning supplies, and accompanied him to a local park.

Using tools such as a trash-picker, plastic gloves, and a bucket, they started cleaning with their community park, Captain Kathy Mazza Park. AJ then spent the week picking up trash on local parks and school grounds. The little guy enjoyed doing his task so much that he was excited to do so every day.

Photo Credit: Facebook

“He’s got this thing where he wants to clean. I’m not going to discourage him,” Anthony said. 

AJ also likes going for a walk with his parents while bringing along his trash picker. And he plans to do his project the whole summer. 

Soon enough, their neighborhood took notice of AJ’s efforts. Joseph Saladino, Oyster Bay Town Supervisor, is all praise for the boy. They held a ceremony solely to give him a special certificate at one of the parks he had tidied.

Photo Credit: Facebook

“The Town Board and I are so proud of AJ, and his parents are even prouder for his love of the community,” Joseph said on Facebook.

The Farmingdale Chamber of Commerce rewarded AJ with $100 gift certificates in Ralph’s Ice along with a Citizenship Award. The people at Ralph’s Ice also gifted him with a t-shirt and bandana he could wear while he’s out there doing good deeds. 

The People magazine also picked up his story and featured him in their recent issue.

Photo Credit: Facebook

Now, that’s how you make your parents proud! You’re on the right track AJ, keep it up!

Source: inspire MORE