Students and staff at Sacred Heart Catholic School in Sarnia have learned that through their hard work and commitment to environmental projects and education, their school has achieved ‘gold’ status from EcoSchools Canada.
“I am proud of our students and staff for the innovative projects and learning that was undertaken throughout the 2021-2022 school year,” says Margaret DeGurse, Principal of Sacred Heart Catholic School. “We are thrilled to receive our gold certification and look forward to what will be accomplished and learned during the 2022-2023 school year!”
Students and staff took part in numerous learning opportunities, which included programs run by Western University, as well as Ecodemy, a new company based out of Sarnia. Classes also took part in programs such as Fabulous Fall, Nature in Winter and Nature in Your Neighbourhood. Programs through the Lorne C. Henderson Conservation Area and the St. Clair Region Conservation Authority taught students about phosphorus and spring water awareness. One class even learned about solar powered cars, which they designed using solar panels and tested out!
The school also took part in initiatives such as National Sweater Day, The Big Gulp and National GOOS Paper Day. Daily announcements included facts about how students and families can help the environment at home and information about important days of observance, such as Pollinator Week, National Wildlife Week and World Water Day. Slideshows were presented daily, which included short videos to support student learning.
Once some of the COVID restrictions were lifted, one of the classes collected garbage from the school yard and surrounding areas once a week. Pre-COVID, Sacred Heart had already collected dried up Crayola markers. An initiative to collect dead batteries has also begun.
Through its certifications program for K to 12 schools, EcoSchools Canada nurtures environmental learning and climate action. The organization’s award-winning curriculum-linked framework supports school communities, as they assess, track, benchmark and celebrate environmental excellence.