Japanese tidiness rubs off on kids

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Ridgefield — Lessons in tidy Japanese culture inspired third-graders at South Ridge Elementary School to take on janitorial duties for a week at the end of the school year. They picked up trash, vacuumed floors, wiped down tables and reorganized bookshelves. "The students discovered that Japanese students are responsible for cleaning their own classrooms," said teacher Linda Johnson. Student Enzo Lee first suggested the idea after learning that a wall marked up by students would need repainting. Lee wrote to the school principal asking if the students could give their school custodian a break, and suggesting assigned duties. "Working as a team made cleaning the classroom easy," said student Abby Brockbank. "It only takes us 10 minutes each day."