|SIX ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS PRODUCE OUTSTANDING “TREE POSTERS” FOCUSING ON PROTECTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT|
MONTREAL, MAY 28, 2015 – Six elementary schools participated in a contest sponsored by the English Montreal School Board and Montreal-based energy efficiency solutions company Energère to help promote and raise awareness of energy efficiency and protecting the planet. This contest coincided with the recent announcement of an ambitious $24.6 million project, in which 17 EMSB schools and centres were chosen to help bolster energy efficiency by modernizing and renewing their equipment, so that they could significantly reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
Each participating school received a drawing of a tree on an eight-foot by eight-foot piece of coroplast poster board. Each participating student then designed a leaf or petal from a piece of paper, wrote their own idea or action on it regarding what they can do to protect the environment, and pasted it on the tree. Together, these messages created a unique-looking landscape.
The six elementary schools that participated in this contest, and are also part of the energy efficiency project, were Pierre Elliott Trudeau School in Rosemount; St. Gabriel School in Pointe St. Charles; Gerald McShane School in Montreal North; Dante School in St. Leonard; and East Hill School and Michelangelo International in Riviere des Prairies.
Energère Communications and Marketing Coordinator Laëtitia Jouanlau, blogger Zoe Bennett and Inspirations Newspaper Wendy Singer were mandated to choose winning leaves in each school. The criteria for judging included the leaf or petal’s originality, beauty, and respect for the theme of energy efficiency and protecting the planet. Prizes included a soccer ball, passes to Parc Safari, The Biodome, The Science Centre, and Bateau Mouche, and a gift card to Sports Experts.
Judges were impressed by the thought that students put into their energy saving ideas and the design of their leaves. They clearly saw that students understand the importance of conserving energy and taking care of our planet, and are prepared to take a proactive stance. Ideas were as specific as turning off the water when brushing teeth, and as creative as building a robot in the future that will recycle. All in all, the message was clear: Recycle, Reuse, Reduce.
First Place: Dante Elementary School
Although all schools created award-winning trees, Dante Elementary School’s “treescape” was chosen to be the overall winner, to be displayed at the EMSB head office.
Judges were dazzled by the artistic finesse, attention to detail, and thought that went into growing Dante’s tree. Under the creative guidance of Art Teacher Franca Mambro, this tree has an immediate visual impact, and is a veritable feast for the eyes and senses. Its impact continues as one takes the time to examine all that grows within this work of art. Seeing Dante’s tree for the first time is a veritable feast for the eyes.
Highlighted by its sky blue background, this treescape is an experience of four seasons, from snowy leafless branches to crunchy orange and red fall leaves, to vibrant greens. Using textures and different mediums, the realism of each leaf is impressive. Creative additions include a birdhouse, bird’s nest, maple syrup bucket, butterflies, birds, snails, an earthworm, and a Dante school plaque.
The messages the judges chose to highlight are: We need to stop using non-reusable resources, by Adamo Capone; We are good if we would pick garbage for animals like koalas and give them love, by Liana Grise; Roses are red, the sky is blue, keep the earth green for me and you, by Gabriella Gagliano; Think before cutting down a tree. It is home to many, by Myreko Montanaro; Don’t pollute in any way, the earth deserves love from everyone who is living in it, by Matteo Pisano; and Don’t be a litterbug, by Giovanni Mainella.
Under the direction of Art Teacher Hélène Diguer, 220 Gerald McShane students from all cycles created a most decorative tree. Judges were struck by how the pink and green colours of the leaves mingled so beautifully together, and how the sweet hearts that Kindergarten students shared their energy saving messages on, which are placed on the grass level, bring charm and vibrancy to the tree.
The winning messages included: Clean up our city, by Vicky Nguyen; On ne fait pas mal aux insectes, by Sophia Arita-Scott; I will save water from the rain and use it to water the plants, I will pick up garbage from the floor, by Marika Alessia Neri; La terre a besoin de nous pour la nettoyer, by Sara Novembre; On doit ramasser les déchets parterre pour ne pas avoir de la pollution, by Eva Rose Minerva; and Je veux dire merci à la nature pour nous avoir donné un environnement plaisant et de nous donner la vie, by Emma Varano.
East Hill Elementary School
East Hill’s four Kindergarten classes drew beautiful drawings that shared their thoughts about saving energy and protecting our planet. Out of the 77 leaves and petals, judges chose Samuele Ragusa drawing about closing the faucet when brushing his teeth, Danika Zaffino’s lovely and original bird, Siena Tangredi’s girl using a recycling bin, and Alissa Perrotta’s drawing of a girl protecting a tree. All students were commended for their compassion for the earth and energy conservation.
This tree was particularly jovial, bright, and realistic, with pink, purple and yellow flowers growing at the bottom, frogs hopping in the flower beds, and birds and bees flitting around the tree.
Vice-Principal Real Heppelle celebrated the project by gathering all Kindergarten student and teachers around the tree to celebrate all participating students, and award the winners their prizes. He took advantage of the opportunity to reinforce the importance of energy efficiency.
Michelangelo International School
Michelangelo International presented a tree so full of life it virtually jumps out to greet you in every sense. Ida de Laurentiis, International Baccalaureate Coordinator, and Elizabeth Pellicone, Spiritual Community Animator, developed a treescape plan which saw 368 students from all grades create leaves and petals using different materials, and replicate leaves from a variety of Canadian trees. The forethought put into the tree, along with the creativity of the students, resulted in a magnificently artistic tree.
The winning messages included: A drawing of a boy holding up a tree, by Vincenzo Gariboli; Stop littering, it hurts the earth, by Kevin Abu-Merhy; We can save the earth by not killing animals, by Kyana Finelli; Ne polluez pas et fumez pas parce que ce n’est pas bon pour vous et pour la monde parce que la fumée va dans le ciel, by Anna Noto; Planting more plants in class and at home to make the world better, by Lory Pierre-Guerrier; and Utilise l’énergie solaire, by Massimo Indelicato.
Pierre Elliot Trudeau Elementary School
Judges were impressed when visiting PET’s tree, which 220 students collaborated in creating. Guided by Science Teacher Mona Sevigny, each cycle worked creatively with a different type of leaf, all of which fit together beautifully. The vibrant colours and carefully etched and detailed drawings made each leaf come alive in a celebration of nature.
Such detail to the project made it difficult for our judges to choose winners. It was these thoughtful messages that they chose to highlight: Nature doesn’t need us. We need nature, by Rivian Langelier; In the future I will build a robot that will recycle, by Christopher Ramroop, Quand mon linge ne fait plus, je le donne à mon frère, by Andy Zimmerman, J’éteins les lumières avant de partir à l’école, Teo Hemingway-Lalonde, and Je viens à l’école avec ma bicyclette, by Alejandro Sandoval.
St. Gabriel Elementary School
All of St. Gabriel’s 170 students participated in creating a delightful tree that pops in every way. Using a variety of colours and shapes, it was clear from their efforts and messages that they took pride in their tree. Situated in the Oasis Garden, which is in the middle of a thoroughfare of St. Gabriel School, students walked by with their classes while the judges read their messages. They were very excited to share which leaves belonged to them; their passion for the environment was evident. Their tree, titled Universal, demonstrated clear messages about the community and nature that resonated deeply with students, teachers and judges.
Jim Daskalakis, Principal of St. Gabriel, felt this tree was a school effort, and preferred to celebrate all students’ contribution with a general assembly around the tree. A short discussion about some of their messages took place, and the judges shared the statements that resonated with them.
Michael J. Cohen