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YRDSB Is On The Trail to Becoming an EcoBoard
News Release
6/17/2018
YRDSB Is On The Trail to Becoming an EcoBoard
Aurora, ON Students across York Region are leading action to reduce energy use, divert waste and build awareness about the importance of environmental stewardship.

This year, 117 schools and all five of our outdoor education centres received Ontario EcoSchool certification, an increase from 116 schools and three outdoor education centres last year. The number of platinum-certified schools increased from 14 to 20. In addition, three schools received bronze, 32 silver and 57 gold standings.

The Donald Cousens P.S. EcoCrew in Markham celebrated the year by designing a spoken word story walk inside and outside the school. They highlighted a number of student-led eco-achievements and commitments, including a Climate Change Youth Forum in the fall, a Walk For Water campaign, and a creative Paper Towel Poetry Contest.

“Being a part of the EcoClub, you feel like you make a change in your community, with your friends and classmates,” said Bryant Zheng, Grade 8 student at Donald Cousens P.S.

Students are taking on leadership roles at Rosedale Heights P.S. in Thornhill. This year, the team focused on initiatives like planting a vegetable garden, recycling used markers, a winter clothing drive, two seasonal waste audits and a weekly Litterless Lunch audit. Grade 4 students also created an animated video about smart eco city design with help from a community partner at Ryerson University.

“I have learned a lot from being part of the Eco-Club team. There is so much we want to do. I get to help make decisions to get my fellow students involved which prepares me for future leadership roles,” said Ryan, a Grade 7 student and Vice-President of the Eco-Club.

Louis Honore Frechette P.S., made outdoor learning an important part of the school culture.  They began their year celebrating Take Me Outside Day and Week and taking more classes outside to learn.

“I’m always looking at a screen.  When I go outside I experience the real thing and I have the freedom to move!” said Ethan, a Grade 3 Eco-Club member at Louis Honore Frechette P.S.

Students at Milliken Mills H.S. took part in a full day of learning and environmental action projects for Earth Day with community partners throughout Markham, including tree planting and pulling invasive species.  

"Earth Day really should serve as a reminder. A reminder that we need to treat the environment with respect everyday, not just during Earth day because the planet is not ours. It is not by our work that we have a biosphere filled with diverse organisms,” said Rico Dong, student at Milliken Mills H.S. “It should not be ours to exploit. We need everyday to be Earth day, not just today. Are we ready to do our part?"

 “When students learn and connect with outdoor spaces, they want to protect them,” said Tanya Murray, Environmental Literacy and Outdoor Learning Curriculum Consultant. “It is inspiring to see our students getting excited about learning outside, protecting and preserving our environment.”

“Relationships with our land is foundational in our understanding of who we are. When we connect with our land, we not only deepen our relationship with her, we grow in that respectful relationship,” said Pamala Agawa, Curriculum Coordinator for First Nation, Métis and Inuit Education.

OntarioEcoSchools is an environmental education and certification program for grades K-12 that nurtures environmental leaders, reduces the ecological impact of schools, and builds environmentally responsible school communities.

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York Region District School Board is the third largest school district in Ontario with over 124,000 students in 177 elementary schools and 33 secondary schools. York Region students consistently perform above average in provincial testing and the Board is one of the top achievers in Ontario. For more information about the York Region District School Board, please visit the Board website and follow @YRDSB on Twitter.

  

For more information contact:

Dale Brusselers

Corporate Communications

905-727-0022 Ext. 2521

Dale.brusselers@yrdsb.ca
 
 
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