The schools who participated in the Care for the Earth Project during our Bi-Centenary Year were awarded Certificates which were presented on 19th January, Mary Aikenhead’s Birthday, or around that time. It was an opportunity to hear again of the varied activities undertaken by the different schools.
Our sisters who presented certificates in the various schools were filled with enthusiasm after their visits to the schools. They all spoke of the great interest in the environment and knowledge demonstrated by the students who were involved in the projects. We are delighted by the success of the project and extend our thanks to all who participated, the pupils for their engagement in activities and the staff who supported all their efforts.
Some of the comments from the schools and sisters presenting certificates were:
‘Thank you for this wonderful opportunity that primarily sought to create and promote responsibility for caring for Nature and seeking to sustain God’s creation.’
‘Thank you so much for our certificate and for taking the time to visit our school. We hope you enjoyed celebrating Mary Aikenhead’s birthday with us!’
‘I saw their gardening efforts and the money we donated was used to buy a bug/insect farm which they will continue to use. It is quite a big one. You could see that this school is definitely into “save the planet activities”’.
‘The presentation on 19th Jan was a lovely occasion. There was great enthusiasm, and the teachers gave great leadership. The school put a lot of work into the project.’
An account of the New Cross College presentation – written by Sr Mary Kernan
Two teachers in New Cross College, Finglas responded to the invitation from the RSC Care for the Earth Project Team to engage in a ‘Mary Aikenhead Care for the Earth Project’ as part of our 200th Anniversary celebrations. Awareness of ‘Care for the Earth’ was one the goals of the amalgamation of Mater Christi and Patrician College into New Cross College in September 2014. Gardening, litter picking and raising awareness of ecological issues, is central to the life of the school.
One of the teachers Eimear Cullen who is very interested in horticulture, gathered a group of students who were interested in becoming involved in a Garden Project. Another teacher Sarah Conlon formed a Green Schools Committee. The two committees worked very well together to develop care for the earth and the need to maintain a litter free and healthy school environment.
The Garden Project began in September 2015. Using green space available, the students designed and made both vegetable and flower beds, as part of their Junior Certificate Schools Programme. Recycling, making compost, taking care of and watching plants and vegetables grow, not forgetting the preparatory physical exercise involved, contributed to a very positive experience for the students. Onions, potatoes, cauliflowers, herbs and garlic became useful resources for Home Economics classes. The students also contacted local industries to see what contribution they could make to the project and also to gather materials for making the vegetable and flower beds.
On 19th January 2016, Sr Mary Kernan presented RSC ‘Care for the Earth’ Certificate to the Garden Project Group and also certificates to the Green Schools Committee. She congratulated the teachers and students on what they had achieved and praised their hard work, enthusiasm and dedication to the project. The students are very proud of their achievements and encouraged by their teachers Eimear and Sarah, they have many more plans for growing and developing their project in 2016.
Here is a selection of photos from the presentations: