Manor House Gets Thrifty

May 4, 2009 at 6:40 PM

groupattableAs a teacher in a previous life, I can tell you that there one item of school that we all tend to forget. It’s safe to say that I hadn’t thought about it for some time now, but each year it is something that every school pupil across the globe deals with.

The item? Schoolbooks.

Whether you have one or twenty, schoolbooks are a universal feature of any classrom. So when I stepped out of the pouring rain (this seems to be a theme on my travels) into the halls of Manor House School in Raheny, the group firmly reminded me about the these books and opened my eyes to their  environmental impact.

Each year schoolbooks are thrown away at the end of National Certification exams. In the following year, new books have to be bought as the textbook companies create the “latest edition” (often, only the page numbers are different). So out with the old and in the with the new, as books that could be reused simply sit idle on the shelves.

When you start adding up the production costs of new books and the cost to each student to purchase brand new books, you begin to see that something needs to change.

groupatworkWell, that something is happening in Raheny. Sitting in the Art Room (which I have to say was covered in some quite impressive pieces), the girls surrounded me at a long table and engaged me in a lively debate about their project.

Ranging from how they raised awareness (posters, announcements, flyers and the like) to the fact that the staff has readily embraced the project. They have pledged to teach from the current books and only adopt new books if the curriculum forces them to.

The project has expanded to include novels and non-fiction for the school library and has inspired the teachers to create their own mini book club in the staff room.

manorhousegroupBrilliant, I know, but it gets better! The girls have moved on in their thrift cruisade and are organizing a clothes swap. Even as I type, the first clothes sale from the swap is taking place at Manor House. To get girls in the school to bring in their high quality yet underused wardrobes, the group held Cakes for Clothes days. They introduced their own currency, the Manor House dollar, that can be earned in exchange for a clothing donation. Each piece of clothing brought in earns you a dollar and a cake. That’s a win-win situation!

So no trips to the shops for the girls of Manor House, they have their own designer fashions to chose from in their own school. Just goes to show that the old mantra of reduce, reuse and recycling applies to chic and savvy fashion too!

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Gardening in the Glen New Video: Manor House


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