St Jago Prep REAPs big

BY AINSWORTH MORRIS Observer writer editorial@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

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ON World Environment Day, celebrated June 5, St Jago Cathedral Preparatory School took home the 2014 LASCO-Rootz Releaf Environment Awareness Programme (REAP) top prize for their outstanding efforts in environmental stewardship during the current academic year, which is now drawing to a close.



Winning a national award for environmental stewardship is not a first for the institution, having copped the Urban Development Commission’s Hellshire Schools Environment Competition for the last three consecutive years.



But the LASCO Rootz REAP competition, which began in 2012, is a first for the Spanish Town, St Catherine-based school.



"We were aiming to win this competition from the day we entered," Nadia Guy, environment coordinator at St Jago, told the Jamaica Observer following the announcement of the school’s victory at Hope Gardens in Kingston.



"We are so excited and so elated. Words are not enough to express how we feel," she added.



Guy said under her supervision and that of her assistant E Victoria Smikle, the school’s environment club collected over 57,000 plastic bottles made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET) from across Jamaica, conducted beach clean-ups, invested in a hydroponics plant at the school to produce vegetables, used recycled water from the canteen to water crops and plants, planted trees, and acquired a solar cooker for their canteen.



The school also won the Adam Stewart Award for the most PET bottles collected of all the participating schools. For that, they received a cash prize of $100,000 courtesy of Sandals Foundation.



CEO of the LASCO group of companies Lascelles Chin said the school was deserving of the victory.



"I’m really proud of the teachers and students. It’s good to see young people like them taking major steps to protect our environment. I cannot overemphasise the need to maintain our environment which they have proven to master, and awarding them on World Environment Day was only fitting," Chin said.



Allman Town Primary School in Kingston was selected for the second place and Village Primary School from St Ann placed third. They were awarded six and four computers respectively, courtesy of Sandals Foundation.



A hundred and thirty-one schools registered projects for the LASCO Rootz REAP competition for the 2013-2014 school year. The pool comprised nine all-age, eight primary and infant, seven preparatory, 11 primary & junior high and 96 primary schools.



REAP is intended to encourage children to be better stewards of the environment, while grroming artistic talent through visual arts, poerty, song and dance. It was conceptualised by reggae band Rootz Underground.

 

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