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Students win Youth Sustainability Champion Award

Limestone Learning Foundation
Students win Youth Sustainability Champion Award
Posted on 05/31/2019
Image of Elginburg DPS teacher Jerri Jerreat and students Jack and Lily at the Sustainable Kingston Awards.

Students at Elginburg and District Public School were recognized as Youth Sustainability Champions at the annual Sustainable Kingston Awards May 30 for their efforts to ban single-use plastic bags and polystyrene in the city.

Grade 4 and 5 students from Elginburg DPS initiated two petitions – one for Kingston City Council and one for Queens Park – outlining their goal to eliminate single-use plastics and opt for more environmentally-friendly alternatives such as reusable cloth bags and reusable containers.

The students collected 1,600 signatures for their petition to city council and over 2,000 physical signatures for their petition to Queen’s Park (this is the only acceptable format for petitions to be read in the legislature). About 50 students presented the city petition to Kingston Mayor Bryan Paterson on the steps of City Hall in mid-April.

The petitions came about after students studied the rights and responsibilities that come with living in Ontario. The classes decided to start their petition to city council after a visit from the city’s committee clerk, who talked to them about ways they could become involved in local government. They were then encouraged to think bigger – Queen’s Park – following a visit from former Kingston and the Islands MPP Sophie Kiwala.

Students called for a ban on all polystyrene used for food and drink in the city.

Teacher Jerri Jerreat says students are already over the moon with the success of their petitions. “This has really empowered the students. They have learned to be active citizens, to care, to participate in their government.”

 

 

 

The Limestone District School Board is situated on traditional territories of the Anishinaabe & Haudenosaunee.