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École Saint-Augustin students lead environment and social initiatives

It’s a busy week for Island high schools as they host university recruiters, gear up for parent-teacher interviews and welcome new staff members for the second semester.
Students at Rustico’s École Saint-Augustin recently took part in two innovative projects. - 123RF Stock Photo

Students at Rustico’s École Saint-Augustin recently took part in two innovative projects.

In December, they raised almost $500 to purchase turkeys, holiday gift baskets and various items like linens to assist Lennon Recovery House and its residents. The students walked the short distance between their school and the house to present their donations and sang Christmas carols to the residents who were standing on the front porch. 

The initiative was part of the school’s social pedagogy approach and taught students about social responsibilities. It also received support from the region’s Conseil acadien de Rustico.  

The second initiative reduced the French-language school’s ecological footprint as part of the Grade 5 and 6 science class and enabled the students to experience the United Nations’ 17 objectives for sustainable development. 

After an initial assessment of their individual and their society’s ecological footprint, the students came to the conclusion that the North American way of life was not ecologically sustainable.

They were particularly concerned with the reliance on non-renewable energy sources. They soon came up with two quick solutions: turn off classroom lights when natural lighting is sufficient and recycle their school’s waste. They also designed a model of a sustainable house that relies on renewable energy and then built the model using renewable materials. The model is based on a sustainable house located in New Glasgow. The owner of that house, Jaydon Charlton, invited the students to explore the property. The students were then able to compare differences between the sustainable house and the traditional house. 

The teachers and Sylvain Gagné, principal, were pleased with their students’ learning and social experiences, as well as their contribution to the Lennon Recovery House.

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