Students at John Mahood Public School will be making their neighbourhood a little greener this spring thanks to a grant from Metro Foods. The school received $1,000 to plant trees through the Green Apple School Program, an initiative to promote environmental education in schools in Ontario and Quebec.
Teachers Tiffany McCormick and Mary Janzen, who applied for the grant on behalf of students in late October, were excited to be approved.
“They came in here waving the envelope and saying we got it,” said principal Tracy Tait. “We’re delighted.”
Metro spokesperson Natalie Valentini said the school stood out among the applicants because of the wide reach of their idea.
“They are involving the whole community in this, including the teachers and the whole school. They are also involving the community with planting trees in their neighbourhood,” she said. “It’s really important that they are involving their community and educating their neighbours.”
The grant program was started in 2009 and has awarded more than 200 prizes of $1,000 to date. It focuses on environmental education in primary and secondary schools, so each application must contain elements of the provincial curriculum.
“The projects can include community clean-ups, tree planting, energy conservation, beautification projects, waste clean-up, the list goes on,” said Valentini.
Grant applications are still being accepted until Mar. 31. Up to $1 million in grant money will be awarded to elementary and secondary schools.
Although, a plan for the tree planting has not gone beyond the proposal stage, Tait said the teachers will be hard at work now that they have been approved.
“They did all the work and they deserve all the credit,” she said of the pair.
As part of the program, Valentini said the school will be providing a summery at the end of the project complete with pictures.
“We like to see pictures of the trees planted and the students getting involved and having fun.”
For more information please visit greenapplegrants.ca.