THE CBS in Portlaoise recently celebrated their first green flag with a ceremony held at the school. This was the culmination of many months of hard work for students and teachers alike.
St Mary’s CBS began working on becoming a green school in the old school in Tower Hill. When they moved to their new building on the Borris Road in 2010 they registered the school with An Taisce and Green Schools Ireland.
Throughout the first two years in the school the committee had been meeting weekly and worked continuously on the first theme of litter and waste. The first step in the Green Schools programme is to organise a committee.
The aim of the committee is to educate the school and wider community on the responsibilities to the environment. The committee is made up of students of all years. Weekly meetings are open to all students with an interest in order to allow as many students as possible to participate.
Throughout the past two years the students have participated in Clean Up Laois Week, they have set up an exhibition on the day the new school was officially opened and they have a Green Schools notice board located in the schools general purpose area. They also organised an Action Day and the money raised was donated to Myasthenia Gravis and the Zambian Immersion Project which was running in the school at the time.
They have also participated in Trees for Schools and the woodwork department in the school has constructed a composter and flower boxes in order to promote a greener school. The committee also made a film, which showed the work that the committee has completed. The film was played in all classrooms to coincide with the raising of the first flag. On the day the school had principal Tony Brady, deputy principal Dick Quillinan, Des Kilbride (Sodexo Site Manager), Louise Lynam (Sodexo), Geraldine Whalley (parent’s council), students council members to represent the school body, the Green Schools committee and co-ordinator Michelle Ryan. Aaron Loughman, a second year student in the CBS proudly raised the flag.