Jack O’Connor, centre, with school principal Vourneen Gavin Barry, staff members and students at tree planting ceremony
DESMOND College in Newcastle West has taken up the challenge and signed up to the Take 1 Programme, an initiative from the Education and Training Board of Ireland whose aim is to support schools become Sustainable Development Goals Schools.
And in launching its Take 1 programme week, the school council welcomed back past pupil Jack O’Connor, an UN Youth Delegate and currently a student at UL.
Students explained the huge work undertaken, in the past year, in implementing the Take 1 programme which saw the abolition of all single-use plastic bottles in the school and the installation of filtered drinking water fountains for all students.
Sixth year student Evan Condon also explained the work done by students to achieve the status of a Fairtrade School for Desmond College, for which he received a Garda Youth Award. First year Home Economics students demonstrated what they had done in upcycling items to create Christmas gifts and toys and second year science students presented their research on Climate Change.
A Sustainable Development Goals School is based on the five UN principles of People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace and Partnership and as part of Take 1 Programme week, teachers at the school commit to teaching one lesson on Sustainable Development Goals to one class. To mark the special occasion, students and staff took part in a tree planting ceremony.
This year alone, Desmond College has planted a large number of native broadleaf trees on the school campus, as a visible sign of their commitment to becoming a Sustainable Development Goals Schools.