By Jess Fick
St Andrew’s Preparatory School in Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape joined the Eco-Schools Programme1 in 2011 and, in three years, has earned Green Flag status.
Last year, the boys entered the National Business Awards2 competition as the ‘Boyz in Blue Inc.’ business team, and were awarded runners-up.
It all began with a group of Grade 6 boys launching their business to raise awareness around recycling and resource use, which was one of the action projects Prep considered as an Eco-School. With the help of their Eco-Schools teacher, Lynn Cordell, the students brainstormed ideas to finance the purchase of recycling bins for the school.
The business took off with their production and sale of stress balls (soft balls squeezed to relieve stress), and later bouncing balls and lemonade. The ‘product line’ soon included loom bands (decorative bracelets), smoothies (milkshake-like health drinks) and eco-themed jellies. This year, boys from other grades have joined, and they have held Treat Day sales to continue with their fundraising to buy more bins for the school.
As the project increases in size, so the boys are also looking at what it means to manage an ethical, green business, and this actionbased learning is tied in with another Eco- Schools theme, Healthy Living. The boys have been involved in workshops where they have learnt how to make chemical-free beauty products. Hand creams and foot rubs were exciting to make and an ideal treat for Mother’s Day. For Father’s Day, the team made braai firelighters from recycled paper collected from our recycling bins.
Fantastic frogs and other firsts
Another action project and theme in our Eco- Schools portfolio is Biodiversity. To explore this further, the Grade 4 class held a Leap for Frogs day earlier in the year. The day included learning about endangered frog species, creating fun Frog Day logos and using iPads to create frog awareness. As part of the fun, the good old-fashioned game of Leap Frog was included, as well as a treasure hunt.
Prep was one of the Eastern Cape schools to get through to the final round of the Sasol/Forever Resorts Eco Competition which includes an eco quiz created by a team of six Grade 6 boys, ‘The Big 6’. The competition came to the Eastern Cape for the first time in 2014. This year’s theme is our Carbon Footprint, and a team of Grade 6 learners is involved in a project organised and run by Sasol/Forever Resorts Eco Competition and the Free State tourism and environmental affairs department.3 The ‘Sixes’ also hope to represent their school again this year with their Global Warming project.
1. See: http://wessa.org.za/what-we-do/eco-schools.htm.
2. See: http://nationalbusinessawards.co.za/about/
3. See: http://www.southafrica.info/services/education/eduonline.htm#.VaylAfniuWw.
Category: Spring 2015