LAST May, Ms Campion, Eimear Malone, Eamon Glennon and Dean Kennedy from Ballinakill NS travelled to An Taisce’s Green Flag awards ceremony in Athlone where they were awarded the school’s second green flag.
In light of this achievement, the President of the GAA, Liam O’Neill visited Ballinakill NS on Tuesday, June 25 to join in their celebrations and raise the second green flag together with Green-Schools co-ordinator Sinéad Campion and Principal Caitríona O’ Callaghan.
Mr O’Neill was welcomed to the school by chairperson of the Board of Management, Martin Rohan, PP Fr Seán Conlon, parents and students. He was entertained by pupils from third to sixth class playing a variety of tunes on recorder and tin whistle. The Parents’ Association provided light refreshments for all.
To achieve this green flag award the school had to implement an energy awareness campaign, reduce the amount of energy used by the school and create an awareness of saving energy in the home and community. This was achieved by implementing lots of simple energy saving practices such as LOLO – Last Out Lights Off and installation of a new heating timer.
A poster competition was held to select the school motto. The winning slogan was “Saving energy begins with ‘S’, but it really begins with ‘U’, created by Ezra Galvin. Following this every child was responsible for conserving energy by ensuring windows and doors in the classrooms were closed and lights, computers and digital projectors were powered off when not in use.
In March Ballinakill NS was visited by Lorainne Flanagan from An Taisce, who examined the children’s work on all aspects of Energy conservation. They were delighted when a letter arrived in April telling them that they were successful in their endeavours. As well as conserving energy the children are continuing to maintain the litter and waste themes at the school by keeping the school grounds litter free and recycling and reducing waste. The school started the Green-Schools programme in 2009. They received the first green flag for litter in 2011.