Regional

Sheffield All-Age snags Green Challenge Quiz

BY MARK CUMMINGS Editor-at-Large, Western Bureau cummingsm@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, December 05, 2013    

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NEGRIL, Westmoreland — SHEFFIELD All-Age copped the 2013 Rockhouse Hotel Green Challenge Quiz title, during the fifth annual staging of the competition at the Negril Branch Library last week.

Five schools participated in the event, which is aimed at boosting environmental awareness of students at the primary school level. The competition is open to schools in the parishes of Hanover and Westmoreland, and caters to students between the ages of nine and 12.

According to Charlotte Wallace, the general manager at the Rockhouse Hotel, the competition was conceptualised in 2009 when the hotel achieved Green Globe certification.

"When we originally achieved Green Globe certification, one of our requirements was that we have an educational-related event that promotes environmental awareness, so I said let us start with the children because many of these children are going to become employees at Rockhouse, and so we decided to reach out to the schools," Wallace explained.

Apart from Sheffield All-Age, who was winning the competition for the first time, the other participating schools this year were St Paul Primary, Harding Hall Preparatory, Mount Airy Primary and Negril All- Age.

Negril All-Age had won on three previous occasions, 2009, 2010 and last year, while Mount Airy copped the title in 2010.

Each participating school was represented by four students.

In the end this year, the confident Sheffield All-Age triumphantly took the first-place trophy. Their prize package included a trip to Kool Runnings Adventure Park in Negril; $10,000 towards their school fund, and their name embellished on another trophy, which will be on display at the Negril Branch Library.

St Paul's Primary took the second place, which earned them a trip to Dolphin Cove in Hanover and $4,000 towards their school fund; while Negril All-Age took third place, earning them a trophy and dinner at Pushcart Restaurant in Negril.

Vanassa Hall, the coach of the winning school, told the Observer West that she was confident that her students would have done very well in the competition this year.

"We were very confident. I had a wonderful set of students and they worked very hard because they wanted it badly," said an elated Hall.

Meanwhile, Wallace is hoping that more schools will participate in the competition in coming years, stressing the need for students to know how they impact on the environment.

Rockhouse Hotel, located in Westend, Negril, and its philanthropic arm, Rockhouse Foundation, have made significant contributions to a raft of educational projects in Hanover and Westmoreland in recent years.

According to Wallace, the foundation has spent over US$2 million to refurbish schools, as well as the Negril Branch Library since its almost 10 years of existence.

"So far the foundation has refurbished the Negril All-Age School, the Negril Basic School, the Little Bay All-Age School, the Bunch of Stars Basic School, the Moreland Hill All-Age School and the Negril Branch Library, which was a very ambitious project," she explained.

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