Welcome to our April E-zine!
Not even the April Showers can dampen the spirits of the Green-Schools team as we prepare to host the Green-Schools Awards 2012! There will be a number of awards ceremonies taking place around the country during May awarding schools for achieving their first Green Flag as well as those who have successfully renewed their Green Flag. In this issue of the Green-Schools E-zine you can read about how we kicked off the awards season in April with the Green-Schools Travel Awards and how we received a visit from the First Lady of Estonia! You can also find out about exciting upcoming events including Walk to School Week 2012 and International Biodiversity Day. Remember to keep up-to-date with all our news and activities through our website
Green-Schools Travel Awards 2012!
An Taisce, The National Trust for Ireland, in partnership with the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport and the National Transport Authority were delighted to host this year’s Green-Schools Travel Competition Awards Ceremony in Tailors Hall, Dublin 8 on Tuesday 24th April at 10.30 am, to award the winning students in its national travel competition. At a special awards ceremony Mr. Alan Kelly, T.D., Minister of State with special responsibility for Public and Commuter Transport, presented prizes and certificates of achievement to the winning students in the An Taisce Green-Schools Travel competition. There was an overwhelming response to the competition this year, which called for students to create a poem, letter, song, poster or postcard to express how sustainable travel can benefit earth, our society and our communities.More>>
First Lady of Estonia visits An Taisce's Green-Schools Office!
An Taisce’s Green-Schools Office was honoured today by a visit from Mrs Evelin Ilves, First Lady of Estonia, who is on a short trip to Dublin with her husband. Mrs Ilves has a great interest in the wellbeing of children so was keen to learn about the Green-Schools programme and how it has been so successful in Ireland. Patricia Oliver, Director of Education at An Taisce, told her all about the fantastic work the schools do here. On foot of the visit Mrs Ilves plans to start a similar programme in Estonia, and will be using all our great Green-Schools as an example!
Walk to School Week May 21st - 25th 2012
Thousands of students from all over Ireland will take part in walking initiatives to make the journey to their school a greener and healthier one during National Walk to School Week, May 21st – 25th. Green-Schools across the country will encourage pupils, parents and teachers to walk or park n’ stride to school by holding events such as Walk to School days, Walk on Wednesday, Feet First Fridays, sponsored walks and walking challenges. More>>
The Green-Schools Woodland Update
On November the 17th 2011, An Taisce celebrated the success of the Green-Schools programme in Ireland and the International Year of the Forests in a very special way. Students from 20 schools initiated the planting of a Green-Schools Woodland at Ballinreeshig Nature Farm, Co. Cork in conjunction with Will and Away Outdoor Education Company on our ‘Give a Tree Roots’ day. At the outset, 3,560 native trees were planted to represent each school in the Green-Schools programme. Students from pre-schools up to university level were present on the day, representing the wide-ranging impact of the Green-Schools programme. The Green-Schools woodland serves as a symbol for the programme, representing both the flourishing of the environment that the programme promotes, and the flourishing of all those involved who will be enriched by developing values and attitudes that protect our environment and ourselves. Thanks to William O’Halloran of Will and Away outdoor education company this was made possible. Continuing with the planting of positivity another very special tree planting event took place in our Green-Schools Woodland on the 20th of March 2012. More>>
St. Michael’s School focus their Comenius programme on Water!
St. Michael’s Boys National School is located in Mervue, Galway and it caters for boys from 2nd- 6th classes. Currently there are over 200 boys and 16 teachers in the school. St. Michael’s National School was one of the first schools in Ireland to be awarded the Green-Schools flag in 1997. St. Michael’s N.S. successfully completed the Green-Schools Water theme this year, and they used their work from their European Comenius water project for the Green-Schools theme.The school participated in the EU Lifelong Learning Comenius programme and coordinated a Comenius School Partnership involving schools from Ireland, Finland, France, Greece, Italy, Poland, Portugal and Turkey. This partnership focused on raising the level of consciousness of water among schools and wider communities. Water was chosen as a topic because clean freshwater is coming under increasing threat due to global warming and excessive demand from a growing world population. Through collaborative work pupils developed an awareness of and respect for the diversity of European cultures, and they acquired life skills and competencies necessary for personal development and active European citizenship. The project also enhanced the language, presentation, investigative, scientific, social, cultural and ICT skills of the participants. The participants regularly chatted on Skype, typed up website articles, performed water songs, and researched water themes particularly for their water sustainability booklet. You can see their work on www.droppy.net More>>
Derinagree National School Use 'Muck and Magic' to Promote a Greener Way!
Derinagree National School is a rural school in North Cork with 55 students and 5 staff, and have been working towards their first Green Flag for Litter & Waste Management by using innovative ways to inform and involve the whole school community about the topic. Their ‘Rot or Not?’ project saw them create a Waste Graveyard (Biodegradable/ Non- Biodegradable items) in the school and display it for everyone to see. All the classes were involved: Seniors in research; Middle Classes- ordering the timeline; Juniors- bringing in items for the waste graveyard. They used items like cardboard; plastic and even a nappy to show how long our waste takes before it breaks down and biodegrades. More>>
Meet the Team!
Michael John O’ Mahony joined the Environmental Education Unit (EEU) in November 2000 as a researcher. His initial work was researching the impact of the Green-Schools Programme on students and the wider community. Since then he has been involved in many aspects of the development and growth of the EEU. Currently he is the Education Unit Operations Manager and Assistant Director of the EEU. Prior to joining the EEU he spent his time as a geologist and has a BSc and a PhD in Geology from University College Cork. In his free time he is a keen wildlife and landscape photographer and also is a big supporter of Cork GAA and Munster Rugby.