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sharing stories & practices: ontario ecoschools monthly newsletter

June Newsletter Contents


Congratulations! Over 1,725 EcoSchools in Ontario!

This spring, assessors across Ontario have celebrated with over 1,725 certified EcoSchools! It is inspiring to see schools become role models for their communities by engaging in amazing environmental initiatives. From Windsor, to Ottawa, to North of Thunder Bay - you are making a difference!

An especially hearty congratulations to all the hard-working EcoTeams that lead their schools in successfully conserving energy, minimizing waste, creating biodiverse greening projects, and addressing important environmental issues – great job this year. We look forward to highlighting and sharing the most creative innovative practices during our 10 year celebration of the Ontario EcoSchools program next year.

Please sign in to see your school’s feedback here: certapp.ontarioecoschools.org, To view your feedback, click on “Application Summary” page.


ÉcoExpo Deeply Engages School Community in Environmental Issues

In celebration of Earth Day, École Catholique Franco Supérieur  (CSDCAB) held an ÉcoExpo where students presented displays on environmental issues. Local environmental organizations and the city of Thunder Bay were invited to exhibit as well.


The school’s ‘Club de la Terre’ (EcoTeam) successfully planned and organized the event to share with the parent community. It was an inspiring day and there was a lot of positive feedback about the learning that took place.

Some of the displays included:

Grade Three students proudly displayed their bird creations. Students were assigned a landscape (grassland, mountain, swamp, forest, jungle) and then asked to create birds from various materials. The students were encouraged to think about how the bird would adapt to its surroundings. What kind of beak and legs would the bird have? What kind of nest would it build? How it would produce eggs and what food would it eat to survive?

Grade One students educated the school community about the wonderful benefits of pollinators, while the Grade Six class shared information about Thunder Bay’s active transportation routes, and designed new cargo bikes.

A special highlight of the event was the creative super heroes display by the Kindergarten class. Each super hero shared a simple action attendees could take to minimize their personal environmental impact.

In addition to these fantastic displays, students shared information about École Catholique Franco Supérieur's vermicomposter and how to make recycled paper! A fun and informative event for all involved.

Consider having a similar EcoFair or ÉcoExpo at your school!  It’s a great way to bring environmental learning to the whole community and create an Environmental Stewardship campaign for your EcoSchools program.

Celebrating 10 years of Environmental Action and Learning + Survey

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This September, Ontario EcoSchools will be celebrating ten years of province-wide participation in the program. Over the last decade, Ontario EcoSchools has seen tremendous growth. The breadth and depth of environmental initiatives in schools has grown in tandem with the diversity of participating schools and school boards. It has been a remarkable and memorable time!

Over the next few months, Ontario EcoSchools staff will be hard at work crafting new and exciting tools to help schools take their environmental programs deeper. Stay tuned for the launch of these new resources, alongside exciting plans for our Ten Year Birthday celebration!

School support survey: As the school year winds down, Ontario EcoSchools is ramping up its efforts to better support schools and school boards seeking to deepen their commitment to ecological literacy and environmental action. Complete a short survey (click here) to help Ontario EcoSchools improve how we connect with schools and deliver resources. All participants will be entered into a draw for a $50 gift card from Mountain Equipment Co-op. Thank you for your participation!


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Important leadership tips for school-wide synchronized events

  • Keep the action simple and environmental message clear. This helps the whole school community get on board.
  • Keep a tally of participants, which can increase momentum leading up to the event.
  • Use social media and Twitter #hashtags on promo materials to help spread the word!
  • Have any budding musicians? Tap into school talent to make the event memorable and fun!
  • Tell the media! Connect with your Board’s Communications Department, as this might encourage administrative teams and the wider community to participate.

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Delicious Tap Water: Peel schools participate in The Great Gulp!

To recognize Canadian Water Week in March, 56,000 students from 110 schools across the Region of Peel took part in 'The Great Gulp'. The event consisted of students promoting the safety and sustainability of tap water, and culminated in school-wide synchronized sips.    

The campaign was led by the Public Works team at the Region of Peel and promoted throughout the EcoSchools network in the Peel District School Board and Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board.

“Our goal is to raise awareness about Peel’s high quality tap water and encourage residents to choose tap water,” says Carol Chaput, Supervisor of Environmental Education with Peel Public Works. “Tap water is a convenient choice that is good for your health and the environment.”

All schools were invited to register and select any day during Canadian Water Week for their event. Participating schools were then entered into a draw for prizes donated by the Region of Peel, such as refilling stations and stainless steel water bottles for the entire school.

In addition to the synchronized gulp, students shared tap water facts, held reusable water bottle challenges, community scavenger hunts, and hosted bottled vs. tap ‘taste test’ stations.


Early Bird Draw Winner - St. Faustina’s EcoTeam (DPCDSB)

We’re happy to announce that St. Faustina of Dufferin Peel Catholic School Board is the 2014 Early Bird Draw winner! All schools that submitted their application for certification by the Early Bird Deadline (April 23rd) were automatically eligible for the draw.

In their fourth year as a certified Ontario EcoSchool, St. Faustina has well established Energy and Waste Minimization practices that include student-led monitoring and celebrating success.  In addition to these regular routines, students engaged in school wide campaigns including Lights Off Fridays, Walk to school days with punch cards, and an Earth Day celebration. In the classroom, Grade Five students created energy conservation tip books for the primary students while outside St. Faustina has joined up with St. Joan of Arc to create a meadow garden.
St. Faustina has decided to use their grant towards an Earth Rangers presentation for their entire school. Good things are happening at St. Faustina, congratulations on a fantastic year of eco-achievements!

 

 

 

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