August 13, 2019
TORONTO - The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO) has given its 2019 Environmental Education Award to Thames Valley teacher Claire Gulliver for building stewardship of the environment among students.
The award is presented to an ETFO member in recognition of their outstanding commitment to the care and protection of the environment.
Claire is a Grade 8 teacher and Ontario EcoSchools Lead at Jack Chamber Public School in London, which currently holds an EcoSchools Gold Certification. Through the program, run by Claire since 2015, students become activists and citizen scientists. There is a school-wide recycling/waste program which has reduced the number of waste pickups per week and table top compost bins are placed throughout the school. Along with school-wide teaching, presentations, assemblies and announcements, students in all grades learn and take part in these and other environmental activities.
The school has a bird feeding station, pollinator and vegetable gardens and a school yard greening and tree-planting program. Claire has Grade 8 students volunteer to compost, dig, plant, feed birds and install nest boxes, and collect and audit waste. Her "Only Rain Down the Drain" program about water stewardship has won several awards and her "There's a Place for Your Waste" program won the EcoSChools Climate Change Award in 2016. Claire is pursuing a Platinum Certification designation this year.
"Claire has taken on this role on a volunteer basis to offer leadership and fun activities for students to increase their awareness of the environment in their school and surrounding area," said ETFO President Sam Hammond. "She has created fantastic ways for students to develop life-long stewardship of their natural surroundings."
The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario represents 83,000 elementary public school teachers, occasional teachers and education professionals across the province. ETFO's Building Better Schools education agenda can be viewed at www.buildingbetterschools.ca.