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More schools become advocates for environment

More schools become advocates for environment

Monday 25 October 2005

Fourteen new schools in the Bay of Plenty will become strong advocates for the environment next year.

Over the past three years, 22 schools have taken part in an intensive three-year programme called Enviroschools. Next year’s intake will boost the number of past and current schools to 36, with several thousand students between them.

The Enviroschools programme, which is coordinated regionally by Environment Bay of Plenty, takes a whole school approach to environmental education. With support from the school community, students plan, design and take action to create a sustainable school environment.

Regional coordinator Esther Mae says the new schools cover the range from small to large, rural to urban, and kindergarten to intermediate level. They are scattered all over the region. They include Whangaparaoa School on the East Cape to a tiny private school in the Tauranga Historic Village to Rotorua Intermediate School, which has 600 pupils. The programme also involves three kindergartens for the first time.

Ms Mae says more schools applied for the programme than could be taken on next year. “The quality of applications was amazing. It is obvious that more and more schools are becoming involved in environmental education, both with integrated learning and through projects in their schools and local communities.”

Ms Mae encourages schools that missed out to sign up for the Enviroschools Awards Programme, which supports schools to independently work towards sustainability.

ENDS

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