An Taisce’s Green-Schools programme has teamed up with Irish Water for a seventh year to support schools working to gain a Green Flag under the water theme. The water theme aims to increase awareness of water conservation among primary and secondary school students. In Kildare 19 schools across the county are currently working on the water theme.
This academic year just over 97,000 students and 8,000 teachers around the country will undertake the Green-Schools water theme in their school. As part of Irish Water’s sponsorship of the water theme schools will be invited to attend water workshops, take part in the annual poster competition, apply to be Water Ambassadors and, following their application for the Green Flag, all schools are in with a chance to be named Ireland’s Water School of the Year 2020.
This year will see the return of the Green-Schools Irish Water Poster Competition and the Ambassador Programme for secondary school students. The poster competition will focus on this year’s UN World Water Day theme and asks students to create posters focused on water and our changing climate. Secondary school students will also be able to enter a group video, a new element to this year’s competition.
This year’s Ambassador Programme for secondary schools has seen high levels of applicants as secondary school students become more focused on climate action and helping their environment. Training days for successful applicants began in early November and focus on equipping students with as much water-based knowledge as possible alongside communication skills training and a visit to a water treatment plant.
Water Workshops for primary and secondary schools in 22 locations around Ireland have also started for this academic year. These workshops focus on peer to peer learning and the invited students leave with action plans and resources to assist them in undertaking the water theme in their school.
Cathy Baxter is the Green-Schools Manager: “We are delighted to be celebrating the seventh year of our partnership with Irish Water. The support we’ve received has allowed us to create and develop resources, events and ongoing initiatives to assist schools as best we can with their work on our water theme. The fruits of this can be seen in schools like our award winning schools each year, who have achieved incredibly low water use and a strong school-wide culture of water conservation.”
Commenting on the partnership, Damien Kelly, Irish Water added: “Irish Water is delighted to continue our sponsorship of the Green-Schools programme and particularly the water themed flag.
“Irish Water is delighted to be working with young people in schools throughout Ireland through the Green-Schools programme to encourage new and innovative ideas about water use and water conservation. Through this education, awareness and action based programme we can improve and secure this precious resource that is vital to the environmental, social and economic life of this country for future generations. Let’s continue the conversation about conservation.”