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Mid Ulster Launches Environmental Education For Schools

09 October 2015

A new environmental programme for schools has been launched by Mid Ulster District Council.

The programme brings together different elements of education work which the former councils in the area offered, meaning for the first time that schools across the region can tap into a range of activities, ranging from free talks, presentations and visits to resources like battery recycling boxes, composters, mobile recycling trailer, carnival games and an education vehicle.

Introducing the programme on a visit to Cookstown Primary School, Chair of the Council, Councillor Linda Dillon, said:

“We have a dedicated team of staff whose focus is on raising awareness of environmental issues and actively contributing to increasing the amount of waste which we divert from landfill. Delivering a schools education programme, which also meets curriculum needs in the classroom, is a very important part of that work and crucially, in times when schools have little money to spend on extras, the activities are also free”.

Chair of the Council’s Environment Committee, Councillor Christine McFlynn, also welcomed the new programme:

“Children are great environmental ambassadors and some of the keenest recyclers you’ll ever meet! They not only use their knowledge at school, but take it home to family and friends to influence behaviours outside the classroom. This new programme is a very welcome addition to our environmental work and I look forward to seeing it rolled out across Mid Ulster”.

Lorraine McErlane, from Cookstown Primary School, said:

“Cookstown Primary School has an Eco Committee which is in charge of ensuring that the school is being eco-friendly by reducing, reusing and recycling. All children are involved in recycling paper, plastic, batteries and ink cartridges. They also collect plastic bottle tops for a charity to raise money for wheel chairs. During dinner time the Eco team collects fruit skins for the school compost bin. The school is also involved with litter picks with other schools in the community. It is great to see children working together to keep their town litter free.

“Last year the Eco Committee studied Climate Change. They prepared a power point which they delivered to pupils in KS 2. The Committee encouraged pupils to be less wasteful. This year the children will be learning about global issues and the Refugee Crisis.

“The school has a very keen Gardening Club who grow fruit and vegetables. They maintain the gardening during their lunch hour and on Wednesday afternoons. In 2014 the school won Best Kept School in the Southern region and the best of the best in N Ireland. Eco work in the school has had a big impact on the children’s learning as well as encouraging them to be more caring for their environment”.

To find out more about recycling for schools, contact the recycling officer team on 03000 132 132, E: recycling@midulstercouncil.org or visit www.midulstercouncil.org/recyclingforschools.

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