There were great celebrations as the official raising of the Green Flag at St Christopher’s Special School, Longford took place on Tuesday, June 11.
“It was with great joy and pride that we raised our first Green School Flag. We had a fantastic day and this is a wonderful achievement for our school,” explained Principal Sheila Dinnegan.
Ms Dinnegan added, “The Board of Management of St Christopher’s School would like to take this opportunity to thank all who were involved in the project; pupils, staff, parents and the wider community. We also thank Mr Gary Brady, Environmental Officer, for his advice and guidance.”
St Christopher’s submitted their application to An Taisce in November 2013 and they were awarded their Green School Flag on May 22 during an award ceremony in the Radisson Hotel in Athlone.
In October 2012, the school decided to embark on the road to achieving their first Green Flag.
A committee consisting of pupils and staff, undertook an environmental review where they identified litter black spots and the main sources of waste.
Ms Dinnegan explained, “We developed an action plan where each class was delegated a different litter area which they had to ensure was kept litter-free. We discovered a large proportion of kitchen waste was recyclable and we set about getting food bins and a compost bin. We achieved a 42 per cent reduction in our landfill waste.”
In October 2013, a Day of Action was organised and this featured the staging of a Halloween recycling party in conjunction with a trick-or-treat Temple Street Party.
Ms Dinnegan said they produced a Green Code for the school entitled - ‘Stop It, Don’t Drop It’ - and this is displayed throughout the school.
She concluded, “Our participation in the project has been a very positive experience, pupils and staff have made recycling a fundamental part of their daily life; pupils check bins in their classrooms and remove litter when found. The pupils have become more aware of their surroundings and have gained a greater sense of pride in their school. There is less waste and a cleaner school environment. It has also given our pupils an opportunity to develop a sense of citizenship and co-operation.”