District Highlights

Highland Park Elementary class puts on school-wide waste sorting game

Ms. Tsia’s class became game show hosts for a day at Highland Park Elementary in a fun, interactive assembly to teach students about sorting waste.

“It was about teaching people like… what you put in the recycling and what you put in the organics bin,” said Payge J., a Grade 4 student in the class.

“Because it could contaminate the recycling bin if it doesn’t go in the right bin,” added Joshua R., who is in Grade 3.

Yin Tsia’s Grade 3/4 class stood at the front of the gym, while the rest of their school looked on.

They lined up the three bins: garbage, recycling and organics. Then the pop quiz began, complete with props and music.

“They have to try to answer where the garbage goes,” explained Liam M., a Grade 3 student.

Students were given an item to throw out and asked which bin they’d toss it in. If they chose the wrong bin, Liam added, he would make an X with his hands and point to the right answer.

“We would just say wrong, good try, it’s supposed to go in the garbage, for example,” said Lucy G., who is in Grade 3.

Overall, it went “pretty good” and all the students did “pretty good” too, the class agreed.

Students from a Grade 3/4 class at Highland Park Elementary stand behind garbage, organics and recycling bins at the front of the gymnasium during a school-wide assembly.

The students also made posters, created recycle art, made announcements, and ran a waste-free lunch kit challenge.

“The best type of learning is when the students don’t realize they are learning,” said Yin Tsia, their teacher. “I have many kids in my class who benefit from hands-on, experiential type of learning. It was wonderful to see how involved and excited they all got.”

The activities were part of an annual month-long district-wide challenge called the Go Green Together campaign.

“The challenge that I put out to the teachers and the students is to think differently, so think a little bit more sustainably,” said Alexandra Tudose, energy and environmental sustainability manager for Maple Ridge – Pitt Meadows School District.

This year, five schools participated in the campaign, including Hammond Elementary, Laity View Elementary, Yennadon Elementary, Pitt Meadows Elementary and Highland Park Elementary.

The students came up with activities ranging from reusable lunch kits, to lights out lunches, and even donating clothes.

“This is where the next generation of leaders – environmental leaders, engineers, scientists – is going,” Tudose said. “So, if we don’t harbour and teach our kids to be more sustainable, more green, then we’re missing the opportunity.”

Tudose hopes next year, more schools will take part in the campaign.

“Being sustainable and green is so important, not only for us as adults, but especially for the younger generation,” she added.

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