Meet ANITA McMONAGLE – Teacher at St. Eunan’s National School, Raphoe, Co. Donegal.

I have been teaching sixth class at St Eunan’s NS for seven years now. I first heard about the Young Environmentalist Awards on News 2Day on RTE.  My class were extremely interested in taking part in the project. This year will be the second year that we have entered a project in the competition. Our first project in 2009, focused on the benefits of trees to our environment and our well being.

The students took a leading role in the project and they became a real newsteam and created a newspaper called Trees ‘R’ Us.  The students interviewed many well known locals about their different connections with trees.  We used the money raised from selling the newspaper to plant a wood garden in our school.  An important aspect of the project was to communicate the message to the wider community.

Our paper was advertised on the local radio and the Donegal Democrat. The students were shortlisted for a Young Environmentalist award and we travelled to the Mansion House in Dublin.

It was such a fantastic experience for everyone involved. We set out at 6am and a number of parents came along for the day. We set up a stall to advertise our project. There were loads of environmental activities for the students to enjoy. It was a day that the class of 2009 will remember for the rest of their lives.

In my opinion the Eco Unesco Young Environmentalist Award is a brilliant opportunity for all young people to make a difference in our world and to learn how to be more active in protecting our environment.

It was a win win situation. Our school got a beautiful wood garden, the trees are absorbing the CO2 in the atmosphere, and the children who travelled to the Young Environmentalist Awards became real superstars in our community.

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