On October 24th, 2018, Trenton Middle School hosted the 12th Annual Celtic family of schools United Nations Day. This year, the day was titled Henderson Paris Day. The event involved 50 Grade 7 and 8 students from the Celtic family of schools who came together for a day of learning, sharing, and activities. Sarah Wood, the Social & Emotional Learning teacher at Trenton Middle School, helped to plan and organize the event. The event’s theme was 'Greening the Blue'.
Our Green Schools NS Engagement Officer in the area, Pam, was invited to take part in the special United Nations Day. She had the opportunity to present to the entire group of students to facilitate learning about electricity and energy efficiency. Many students were familiar with the idea of turning out lights when leaving a room, but there were new ideas presented about the many other ways we can save energy at home and at school every day. While turning out the lights is an energy efficient habit, using LED light bulbs also helps to cut energy consumption. Students recognized the Efficiency Nova Scotia logo but were not aware of the free efficient product installation service which can replace any incandescent light bulbs with LEDs, wrap hot water tanks, and provide smart power bars, among other products. Programs from Efficiency Nova Scotia like this one help Nova Scotia families to save energy and save money on your power bill while reducing greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation.
Students brainstormed more ways to save energy:
- Open classroom curtains and use natural light instead of electric lights
- Unplug electronics at school at the end of the day
- Use a clothesline instead of a dryer
- Use a hairdryer less frequently
Students brainstormed further about how to waste less, and made the connection between energy consumption, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and using less packaging and plastic. Some further ideas included:
- Bringing lunch in a reusable lunch bag
- Bringing metal cutlery from home, instead of plastic cutlery available at school
Pam from Green Schools NS was only one of the guests at UN Day. The day's honoree, Henderson Paris, also attended. Henderson Paris started the annual Run Against Racism in Pictou County. The run helps to educate the community about racism, working towards eliminating it all together. Over the years, the run has been renamed the Marathon of Respect and Equality (M.O.R.E. Run). Mr Paris has worked tirelessly in the New Glasgow area to create a positive community for everyone. Paris gave a speech about the role of the United Nations.
The day included various sessions that engaged students in many ways to collaborate and protect the environment both locally and globally. Local business co-owner Susan Roux was also a speaker at the event. Roux co-owns Forge Home and Garden, a shop dedicated to sustainable and local products. Students created their own environmentally themed Public Service Announcements (PSAs). Students also collaborated on a mural highlighting the problem of ocean plastics with the help of Sasha Bernard from Divert NS.
This UN Day allowed students to come together and find ways to “Green the Blue.” We are looking forward to seeing the PSAs created by students!
Check out the school’s November Newsletter for a small write-up about the day.
~Pam Chandler, Engagement Officer