Kersley awarded Emerald designation

One of 20 B.C. schools to receive SEEDS status, Kersley just south of Quesnel earns prestigious designation

  • May. 22, 2012 3:00 p.m.

Back Left to right: Taylor Parr

Kersley elementary school celebrated the completion of 500 environmental actions, activities or projects with an Emerald School Celebration on May 16.

Sue-Ellen Miller, the superintendent of schools, Caroline Mitchell, the School District trustee and Dennis Hawkins-Bogle, a former principal of Kersley and current principal of McNaughton Centre joined current principal, Angelina Gauthier, staff, students and family members for an event celebrating Kersley school and its accomplishments around environmental activities.

Kersley school first started the SEEDS program in September 2006. That year they reached Green: 100 actions. In September 2007 they started their quest for Jade, which is 250 projects and reached that in June 2009.

They started the Emerald quest in September 2009. It took three years to complete the 500 projects, which is Emerald Status for the SEEDS Green Schools program. Achieving 500 projects isn’t easy, especially for a school of only 60 students. In fact, Kersley is only one of 20 schools in B.C. to achieve Emerald.

Last month Kersley school was announced as one of the 2012 Winners for the BC Green Games. This is a contest open to all elementary schools in B.C. and celebrates the green efforts of schools in B.C. Their BC Green Games entry focused on the 500 environmental actions they have completed to reach Emerald through the SEEDS program. Kersley school has also received a grant from the School District Green Initiatives Fund and a Conservation Education Assistance Fund grant.

The celebration included songs by the Grade K/1 to “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle,” a PowerPoint presentation by the students illustrating environmental actions they have completed over the past six years, emerald acrostic poetry, a performance of the song “Stewards of the Earth” by the Grades 2 – 7, which earned first place in the Quesnel Festival of the Performing Arts, and a pledge by all stating: We pledge to do our part for our planet. We will continue to do things to help the Earth.

The event ended with the announcement of an outdoor classroom at the back of the school. This will be a place to provide students with hands on opportunities to interact, observe, learn and relax in nature. Students had been volunteering already to spread soil into the designated area and one representative from each classroom helped plant a tree.

“This is a continuing legacy of Kersley staff and students that started six years ago,”  principal Angelina Gauthier said.

“The environmental actions will continue with our outdoor classroom and other projects to show that we care about the environment.”

The next goal: 1,000 environmental projects and Earth status.

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