Eco-school promoted at Paris climate conference

A YouTube video with Departure Bay Eco-School students will be shown at an expo at the United Nations' climate change conference in Paris.

A YouTube video featuring Departure Bay Eco-School students will be shown at an expo at the United Nations’ climate change conference in Paris this month.

The school received eco-academy designation by Nanaimo school district in March and the video features older students asking world leaders to make changes to help the environment. Younger students discuss what they like about being out in nature as part of their instruction.

Paige Fisher, Vancouver Island University professor, has student teachers at the school, and she asked principal Lisa Frey if Departure Bay wanted to make a video.

“For this particular video, we focused on one of our intermediate classes and we talked about climate (change). Obviously, that’s been a discussion in the classroom, definitely with our older students and being the eco-school, talking about climate change,” said Frey.

Frey said the video is part of a project by the Pop-Up-Foundation, an environmental program looking to separate resource dependency and environmental issues.

“Basically, the underlying idea is … there are lots of youths in schools doing really cool things to work towards a better planet and so the idea is, let’s start networking and sharing those ideas. Let’s hear about what other places are doing and let’s learn from each other,” said Frey.

Dale Burgos, Nanaimo school district spokesman, said the video is part and parcel with the school’s enviro-centric curriculum.

“It’s a great program … people in the community are talking about it and I mean, their enrolment is up, so it’s obviously something that’s attracting kids and it’s something top of mind [in] the district as well, is being green and just making sure that our students are cognizant of making positive change out in the community,” said Burgos.

Steve Rae, school board chairman, said the board is proud of the students and their accomplishments.

“This is just another example of how bright our future is,” said Rae. “When we have young kids who are committed to such a fantastic cause, it’s exciting for us all.”

Nanaimo News Bulletin