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Education for Sustainable Development


 

When we think of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and try to sum it up in a quick, easy to remember phrase, most people refer to, “enough for all, forever.” ESD has been a priority for the province of Manitoba, the Winnipeg School Division and Queenston School for the past few years. The school’s focus has been on two pillars of ESD, those being environment and human well-being.

Under the environmental pillar, Queenston School has been recycling the various items used each day in the course of school business. Paper would be our number one recyclable material followed by drink containers, cardboard and juice boxes. The students have been educated in recycling through classroom initiatives and as the focus of many of the school assemblies. The school division has provided posters for each classroom which clearly shows the staff and students the difference between materials that can and cannot be recycled. Our custodial staff does a great job of separating garbage from recycling and places them in the appropriate bin.

Also under the environmental pillar, we have recently begun vermicomposting at school. Thanks to a University of Winnipeg teacher candidate doing their practicum at Queenston School, vermicomposting has returned to Queenston School. What is that you ask? This is a program were materials like fruit and vegetable scraps are fed to Red Wiggler worms where they consume those materials and turn it into a fertile compostable mixture (castings) ready to use in gardens, for example.  Vermicomposting is ideal for small spaces and can be accomplished indoors under controlled conditions. The students will receive an educational component as to why we compost as well as the how’s and why’s of caring for the composter.

In the area of human well-being, the school focuses on taking care of the students in the school, assisting local organizations and global organizations. To assist students with the complexities of human relationships each day, all staff use the Second Step program including topics as empathy, making friends, managing emotions, making good choices and solving problems. Providing assistance in the social-emotional skills area sets them on a path for social success and well-being.

The school has a Free the Children Committee which has committed for the past four years to assisting those in need, both locally and globally. Our focus for assistance over the years has been to Winnipeg Harvest, Terry Fox Foundationand Siloam Mission, more recently to Cancer Care Manitoba (Camp Indigo) and the village of Manac, Haiti.

Below are some examples of our commitment to ESD.

These Education for Sustainable Developmentlessons were integrated into curricula including Science, Social Studies, Health and English Language Arts.

The Queenston School Free the Children Student Committee participated in a process and determined our global initiative would aid the community ofManac, Haiti. ($850.00 contribution)

Queenston School Free the Children Committee participated in an inquiry process and determined our local initiative to be Cancer Care Manitoba, specifically Camp Indigo. ($1700 contribution).

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