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The Classroom Challenge features 25 curriculum linked activities that will earn classes points upon completion. Over 11,000 students participated in the curriculum-based energy efficiency program, but Duncan Cran was the only school with 100 per cent of its students participating, which earned it the Top School honours.

The 10 a.m. assembly began with students singing a song about being a green school, which they write with the help of Paul Hann, a musician who completed a residency at the school earlier this year. That’s just one of the initiatives the students took on over the past two months, which Vice-Principal Christine Todd says are carrying over even after the competition is done.

“It’s not just, you do this challenge and then the contest is over; it’s going on, which I think is really important.”

She says the energy efficient habits they have learned are sticking past the duration of the competition, and the students are sticklers for turning off lights, and have started efforts at home, like hang-drying laundry.

Representatives from both Shell Canada and Canadian Geographic were present in the school’s gym, presenting the students with a banner to hang on their walls. In addition to the recognition, Duncan Cran will receive $1,000 to hold a school party, $1,000 to donate to charity, and $1,000 to buy school supplies. Instead of choosing just one charity to donate to, the students asked to be able to donate to several, so $200 each will be donated to Ronald McDonald House, the B.C. Cancer Agency, the Make A Wish Foundation, Feed the Children Canada and the World Wildlife Foundation. The school will adopt a Spirit Bear as part of its donation to the WWF. Both the Canadian Geographic representatives as well as Todd applauded the students for choosing charities that help children like themselves.

“What’s really important is the students see themselves as being able to do something important, even if it’s really small, so they were really enthusiastic about it,” explains Todd.

The competition will be held again next fall, when Duncan Cran hopes to run and defend their title as reigning champions.

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