Photos: Greenrock Eco-School Award Ceremony

June 23, 2016

Greenrock recently held their annual Eco-School Award Ceremony, with the programme seeing fifteen schools participate, impacting approximately 5,000 students.

Shadow Minister of Education Lovitta Foggo said, “The Greenrock initiative is an excellent programme which creates awareness and an appreciation in our young students regarding the environment, it’s fragility and the measures which can be taken to counter negative impacts.

“Students are engaged, have fun and begin to enhance their skills and knowledge about the environment which can serve them throughout life . This programme hopefully will be the conduit which leads to more and more of our people recognising the need for and importance of conservation, sustainability and the like. Well done Greenrock!”

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Minister of Education Wayne Scott said, “I am truly delighted to be here today to celebrate our students and their dedication to improving and caring for our environment. We are here to recognize their efforts to earn awards through their work in all environmental areas. I’m pleased to see the participants of the Eco-Schools programme because it means you are benefiting from Environmental Education [or EE] and that we will have empowered leaders in the next generation.

“Our students and their respective school leadership have stepped-up to save our environment and in doing so they are bringing awareness of the very serious environmental issues that we face in Bermuda and throughout the world. By exposing our students to these environmental threats we are empowering Bermuda’s young people so that future generations will be more prone to be environmentally conscious and cautious.

“We know that environmental education is important because it connects us to the world around us, raising awareness of issues impacting the natural world and our social surroundings and it gives us actions we can take to protect and improve them. Further it encourages students to research and investigate how and why things happen, and make their own decisions about complex issues and their role in the solutions. It is helping to foster a new generation of informed consumers, workers, and decision makers.

“For educators, it facilitates teachable moments outdoors and in daily activities, rather than limited to a book or formal lessons.

“Eco-Schools develop knowledge and skills in a range of areas. Students have applied science and social studies knowledge, as well as math, writing, and creative skills when working on Eco-Schools projects. It extends beyond the classroom – through discussions, hands-on activities and self-reflection, students learn to appreciate the natural environment while enhancing our community.

“The Ministry of Education is solidly behind promoting environmental awareness and we encourage our students from preschool to high school to think about how preserve and protect our environment.

“Particularly from a Ministry perspective, we are pleased with the programme because it is cross-curricular. Environmental Education is not one subject, it is incorporated into all subjects, reaching every interest and ability.

“Let me take this time to commend and acknowledge Greenrock for facilitating the Eco-School Programme within our island’s schools from pre-school to college. Since 2013, Greenrook has developed the EE in schools throughout the island, we are pleased that the programme has grown in the past three years to include 15 schools across the island. This initiative has challenged our young people to come up with creative, out-of-the-box concepts, motivated to experiment with ideas, and encouraged to develop new ways of thinking and working. Thank you Greenrock. We appreciate your efforts to ensure our students fully appreciate and value our precious environment.

“Congratulations to students, principals and teachers who have earned awards and raised the bar for others to model and follow.

Greenrock Executive Director Jonathan Starling said, “It is my pleasure as the Executive Director of Greenrock to welcome everyone to our second ever Eco-Schools Award Ceremony.

“This is the third year of Greenrock being the delivery partner for Eco-Schools in Bermuda, and the growth and success of the program is evident.

“Starting in October 2013, the program grew to eight schools by the end of the 2013-2014 school year.

“At the end of the 2014-2015 school year this number had grown to ten participating schools, and saw the first Green Flags being awarded in Bermuda, to Somersfield Academy and Stepping Stones Nursery.

“The Green Flags are internationally recognised marks of achievement within the Eco-Schools Programme, itself an internationally recognised programme of the Foundation for Environmental Education.

“This programme exists in over 62 countries, with over 49,000 schools involved.

“This year, at the second ever Eco-Schools Awards Ceremony in Bermuda, I am pleased to note that the number of participating schools in Bermuda continues to grow, with fifteen schools now participating, impacting approximately 5,000 students.

“Of these, the majority of schools are within the public system, in the pre-school, primary and middle schools, but also includes the Bermuda College.

“The future of the Eco-Schools Programme in Bermuda is a bright one, and we at Greenrock are excited at the growth of this programme and look forward to seeing the numbers of Eco-Schools – and especially Green Flags – increasing,” continued Mr Starling.

“Ideally, we want to make sure every school in Bermuda is an Eco-School.

“Not only does the Eco-Schools Programme benefit the participants and the schools themselves, in learning 21st Century skills, developing knowledge about sustainability and sustainability practices, it also benefits the wider community.

“We all have a role to play in making Bermuda more sustainable, and Eco-Schools play an important function here in ensuring that future generations place sustainability at the centre of decision making.

“I would like to take the opportunity to congratulate all of those who have been involved in making the Eco-Schools Programme a success.

“I applaud all of you, especially the students and staff, for the positive changes you have made to your schools, and the positive changes you are continuing to make in the wider community.”

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