Local Elementary Schools win awards

Two local elementary school's environmental initiatives have won them awards

Two local elementary schools’ environmental initiatives have have won them awards. T’lisalagi’lakw School in Alert Bay, and Zeballos Elementary Secondary School, were winners of the 2016 BC Green Games awards.BC Green Games, Science World’s sustainability storytelling contest, encourages BC schools to share and celebrate the considerable environmental efforts of BC schools and their communities. The competition was fierce this year with projects that encourage students to think globally and act locally.Winners of the contest include 10 teams from Grades K–7 and 10 teams from Grades 8–12. Each team received $1,000 for their school’s environmental initiatives.

Zeballos made a movie about their recycling, bottle return, and vermi-worm organic waste programs. The students gather food scraps from every classroom each day to feed the worms. They then built the worms new ‘Hungry Bins’ and rehoused them as the population of little, wriggly composters grew. “I was pretty excited. I was kind of hoping that we would win. My kids were over the top,” said Grade 3-6 Teacher Elmar Nabbe.

As a result of their victory, Nabbe said, the school won an expense-paid trip to Vancouver May 19 to have a sleepover at Science World.While in Vancouver, the students want to see WormWorx Organics Recycling – a company that offers integrated and sustainable green solutions for dealing with organic waste and “see the potential for it.”The Zeballos School now has community members bringing in compost for the worm farms, Nabbe said.Some are already earmarked for the community gardens in Zeballos and the Ehattesaht First Nation.Down the road, “perhaps we can sell more and buy more goodies for the kids,” said Nabbe.

T’lisalagi’lakw School made a movie about recycling on a small island, and the trials and tribulations it involves. The school was not set up for recycling, and did not have anywhere to store cans and bottles. Bit by bit the school got organized. They received Return-It recycling boxes and placed them around the school. The first few times they were emptied, they had bottles and cans, but also garbage and old sandwiches. They realized they had to educate younger students on how to use the boxes, so they created a play and went around to every class to explain how recycling works.Students toured the local Shop-rite Department Store which takes recycling weekly and cashed in their bottles.

The funds are going to a year-end trip for the graduating class of Grade 7s.Thanks to the continued support from the folks at Encorp Pacific, Science World was once again able to offer the Return-It trip prize. With this travel subsidy prize, two teams from outside Metro Vancouver received $1,500 towards Science World field trip travel costs. This year, Alert Bay and Zeballos were chosen. “The Return It sponsored prize will pay for an overnight trip to Science World for our class. In all we won $2,500 and a Sony video camera,” said T’lisalagi’lakw School Grade 6/7 teacher Tessa Carter.

This year’s entries, as well as over 775 projects from previous years, are permanently archived at bcgreengames.ca.  Thanks to sponsors Encorp Pacific, BC Hydro, Call2Recycle and Electronic Products Recycling Association, 102 sustainability projects were supported and over 50 free field trips provided, province wide.  To learn more about BC Green Games and how you can get involved, visit bcgreengames.ca.

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