Recycling a blast for students
STUDENTS at Brigalow State School are going green after the school received a grant to fund a variety of environmental projects on campus.
Principal Trudi Eather said the school successfully applied for the Western Downs Regional Council's Recycling Markets Enviro Grant, receiving more than $20,000.
"We received quite an extensive amount for a small school and that was to go towards improving our current set-up for recycling and environmental usage,” Ms Eather said.
Ms Eather said the funds had gone to a variety of projects including learning spaces, plants and reusable tuckshop bags.
"We've purchased things that have enabled us to extend our existing animal enclosure. So we have chickens there that the kids... love to collect the eggs and use those,” she said.
"And then we have a vegetable garden and we now have fruit trees to join with that as well.”
The produce from the school's vegetable garden and fruit trees is used both in the tuckshop, but also in a morning snack the school provides to students before class.
"The aim obviously is to get it (the vegetable gardens) big enough so that we can then share with the parents as well,” Ms Eather said.
"We'd like to do some cooking classes and things like that where the kids can see this sort of produce you can use at home and make healthy food with it.”
The school has also been about to build outdoor learning spaces Ms Eather explained were "in the formation of large teepees”.
"They were to try and bring the children out into the environment and so some of our lessons can be run in that teepee space, so we can take our reading books down there, we can take some worksheets, things like that, and we can work outside,” she said.
"But we can also tie it in with our curriculum areas of HPE and science and use stuff from the chicken pen and the vegetable gardens in that space.”
The school has also used the funds to buy items for inside the classrooms, including bins to recycle paper.
"What they do with that is they shred that and make it into pulp and then we were able to buy some briquette makers which the kids are enjoying, we've got a little environmental club at lunch time, so they are using that shredded paper and making it into some fire bricks that we're hoping to then sell on to the community as a fundraiser,” Ms Eather said.
"Then we were also able to purchase reuseable tuckshop bags.”
Overall, Ms Eather said, the students were loving the eco-friendly additions to the school.
"I think lots of them really want to get out into nature and they enjoy digging and they enjoy looking after the chickens, so there's a broad range of things they can learn from looking after animals and plants obviously, and the teepees, obviously they're using them in playtime too which is fantastic,” she said.
"It's given us a bit more equipment but they like the possibility of being able to work in there so we're not cooped up inside, and the recycling they've taken to very well.
"They're really enjoying it and taking it home... and saying 'don't you throw that out', so that's the point of it in all, is you want them to go home and be spreading the message to everyone else and that's what they're doing.”
Last week the Chinchilla News reported on the students learning Auslan with volunteer Wayne Orley, and their efforts to fundraise to buy a laptop.
This week we can report a second-hand laptop has been donated to Mr Orley, with the school still raising funds to update the laptop or fund items such as a printer or internet.