|WILLINGDON TO BECOME FIRST ELEMENTARY SCHOOL IN QUEBEC TO JOIN PRESTIGIOUS INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL GROUP|
MONTREAL, SEPTEMBER 24, 2007- Willingdon Elementary School (5870 Terrebonne) in N.D.G. will officially become part of the École Verte Brundtland (EVB) on Tuesday morning September 25 (11 a.m.).
The induction ceremony will mark the first time an elementary school in Quebec has become a member of the Brundtland Environmental Group which has as its mandate to promote pacifism, democracy, solidarity and the environment. This worldwide initiative was established by Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland, pioneer of sustainable development and Director-General of the World Health Organization. A Brundtland Commission was established by the United Nations as an independent body to examine the world's environmental and development problems and propose solutions. The EMSB's Marymount Academy became an EVB last year.
"In our case an École Verte Brundtland is a school environment where we 'act locally while thinking globally,'" says Willingdon Principal Ivana Colatriano. "It is a place where we use concrete actions to help create a world that showcases ecology, peace, solidarity and democracy. In an EVB school we reflect, we instruct, we educate and we develop values which promote ecology, peace, solidarity and democracy locally and worldwide."
Ms. Colatriano notes that these values are embedded in the Willingdon way of life through the dozens of projects already in place in the school or in the classrooms: a Green Committee, recycling, composting, planting of trees, flowers and shrubs,regular clean-up of the school yard (Winners of the 2007 Ma Propre École), construction of toys from recycled materials, student publications, Fair trade products, Science Fairs, volunteerism, collections of clothing, Christmas baskets, donations to food banks, Dictée PGL, Club 2/3, Student council and a student newspaper.
EVB representative Jacqueline Toramanian presented Ms. Colatriano and students Lauranne Gendron-Cloutier, Kelly MacDonald, Genviève Gill, Samir Karam and Jenna Wheeler-Hughes with a special banner and a laminated poster to mark the occasion. Cycle 1 teacher Carole Venafro vaunted the school's efforts vis-à-vis the environment while Home and School president Lara DeBeaupre, School Green Committee Ian Sinclair, Commissioner Elizabeth Fokoefs and Spiritual Community Animator Catherine Cherry did the same. Music teacher Nick Batzios led the entire school in an environmental song called SOS Planète en Détresse. Wheeler-Hughes, who is Grade 6, delivered a message from the student's point of view on the environment.
Michael J. Cohen