In February I was invited to St. Andrew Catholic Elementary School to observe and take part in the school’s daily environmental initiatives. Joined by Alice Anne LeMay, Chair of the Halton Catholic District School Board , I was given the honour of being a guest server during the school’s Eco Breakfast program.
The Eco Breakfast program is a perfect example of the leadership and commitment St. Andrew Catholic Elementary School has taken towards protecting our environment. By using reusable dishes and recycling leftover food in green bins, the program helps serve healthy snacks to students without producing any garbage. Throughout the day, I visited several classrooms to talk with students and teachers about environmental education and other eco-friendly initiatives introduced by the school.
In addition to the breakfast program, St. Andrew’s has introduced several initiatives that will reduce their ecological footprint . Some examples include:
- Paperless monthly newsletters
- Litterless Lunches (students and teachers)
- “Think Recycle Program” encouraging proper ink cartridge and cell phone disposal
- Neighbourhood walks to pick up litter
- Elimination of plastic water bottle use
Last year, the students at St. Andrew’s were awarded the Halton Youth Award for Environmental Excellence at the Regional Chair’s Environmental Awards. This annual event celebrates youth who have taken steps towards making Halton a greener place. During my visit, I was impressed to find that the students and staff have successfully continued to build on these efforts.
The protection of the environment is a top priority for Halton Region. By teaching children the values of environmental stewardship, I believe we can help continue to make Halton Region a great place to live, raise a family and retire. The teamwork between the community, staff, parents and most importantly the students of St. Andrew’s has helped demonstrate what it means to be environmentally responsible in both the school setting and at home.
I am very proud of what St. Andrew Catholic Elementary School has accomplished and hope that they will inspire the rest of the community through their important work.
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