Guildwood Junior Public School - Guildwood (10K 9/29/2009)
Guildwood Junior Public School has engaged in EcoSchools programming for many years. Mentoring and communication are two key strategies for sustaining the program in this school. The Eco Club of senior students is continually heard on morning announcements raising awareness about environmental issues. They present at assemblies, make school yard greening decisions, work in the gardens, and encourage younger students to endorse the EcoSchools program. The whole-school support of the EcoSchools program is exemplified in the commitment to planting—bulbs in the fall, shrubs on Earth Day, and flowers and vegetables in the spring.
When you hear of Guildwood, picture a large school yard with both mature and new trees, an internal courtyard with a rowhouse, a nature study area, a "Three Sisters garden" and an outdoor classroom with various native-species rocks. And a tree tour is in the making. Students only have to venture into their schoolyard for environmental exploration and study! The school is very fortunate to have natural vegetation on their doorstep to teach in, about, and for the environment—and so very wise to be making such good use of it.
The Eco Club keeps everyone aware of the three "Rs." "Reducing" in this school means no bar refrigerators, printers are networked, sibling lists are used, and staff communication is done through e-mail. "Recycling" means that waste is minimized so that the garbage bulk bin is picked up only once a week. "Reuse" means that waste-free lunches are the norm, and scrap bins for art paper are located in every room. In this school the administration encourages ecological literacy, and the teachers plan lessons based on it.
Stewardship is learned as the students maintain their school ground greening, and when they participate in programs with the Toronto Zoo and World Wildlife Foundation. The EcoTeam plans to install signs to educate the community about their several greening projects. Their planning for planting new trees includes providing shade for students. This school ground provides a diverse learning and play opportunity for the whole community all year round.
The seeds of the EcoSchools program planted here have been carefully nurtured and sustained. May the program at Guildwood continue to grow. Congratulations on your platinum certification!