Some of the efforts included increasing recycling, turning off electronics during holidays, and conducting a waste audit, which encouraged the students to try “litterless” lunches. Duncan Cran beat out 1,500 other classrooms and 40,000 students from across the country, which Shell Groundbirch Operations Manager Rejean Tetrault calls “remarkable” and “inspiring”, as that’s 1,000 more classrooms than last year.
“Not only did you win, you managed to win when there’s three times more classes that you’re competing against,” he told the student during an assembly today. “Not only did the competition increase, you guys had 100 per cent participation.”
The TopSchool award goes to the school that has the highest percentage of classrooms participating in the challenge.
As a reward for its energy saving efforts, the school has received $1,000 for a school party, $2,500 for school supplies, and $1,500 to donate to charity. This year the school chose to donate $300 each to the Fort St. John Hospital Foundation, Cystic Fibrosis Canada, Autism Canada, Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton, and the Make A Wish Foundation.
Vice-Principal Christine Todd argues that winning the award only reinforces the positive work the young children have been doing.
“For me the most important thing is the students believing in themselves,” she says. “Even though they’re children five to 11 or 12, that they can do things to help the environment and save energy. I want the community to know that the kids at Duncan Cran can do good things.”
Todd says she might buy a bouncy castle for the school that could be used indoors in the winter with the party winnings.
Last year when the school won its first award, Tetrault challenged the students to repeat their victory, and he has now challenged them to go three times in a row.