GREEN Schools had its Poster and Video Competition Awards online today, with a virtual ceremony shown on screens in schools and homes all around the country. Participants were also treated with a presentation from the award-winning Cartoon Saloon. This year, it was announced that a group students from Coláiste Nano Nagle in Limerick had won a runner up prize in the video competition.
The popular competition focuses every year on a theme around water sustainability and is open to Irish primary and secondary students. This year’s theme was ‘valuing water’ which tied in with the UN’s water theme for 2021. Despite the disrupted year for schools with Covid restrictions and closures there were over 1,400 entries for the poster competition.
Green-Schools Manager Cathy Baxter said: “We kept the competition awards separate to our other Water Awards this year which allowed for an awards ceremony that was more focussed on the competition winners and it gave more time for guest speakers. Different classes from the winning schools could log on, while the parents and any wider family members, who wanted to, could log on from home too. It created a lovely atmosphere to celebrate and award the winners and showcase their winning entries. Every year we are amazed and proud to see how much these young students understand how valuable our water is and how to best conserve it. This is communicated with such clarity in their fabulous posters and videos, and it is a great opportunity to recognise and celebrate that.”
Speaking at the awards today, Geoffrey Bourke of Irish Water, said: “Once again this year, we were blown away by the imagination and effort put in by the thousands of students all over the country who submitted entries to the competition. It is truly inspiring to see how deeply these young people understand the value of water. They are setting a great example in showing how we can all play our part in safeguarding this precious resource. Irish Water is proud to support them through our sponsorship of the Green-Schools programme.
William Stokes, a poster competition Southern Region Secondary Winner said: “I love the annual Green-Schools Irish Water Poster Competition and so I was delighted to win.… Posters simplify. They can help to crystallise an idea or distil an issue with a simple visual message. Even in soggy Ireland it is important to conserve water. Although water is renewable, once used, it takes time and energy for clean water to become available again. Every day we consume vast quantities of energy and ‘virtual water’; that is, water consumed in producing products and food. There is a cost. It’s not easy but we have to try to be better, more thoughtful and less wasteful.”
Irish Water’s sponsorship of the Green-Schools Water Theme is in its eighth year and in that time over 2,000 schools have attended interactive Water Workshops and Walk for Water Events. Last year alone, Green-Schools saved over 600 million litres of water. Green-Schools also runs a Water Ambassador training programme for students in participating schools and a Water Conservation Photo Competition for parents and students. Due to COVID 19 restrictions and school closures, the Green-Schools programme successfully moved much of its interaction online for the school year, with new content and innovative virtual events.
The poster competition has twelve regional winners and three national winners in three categories – Junior Primary, Senior Primary and Secondary. The regional winners win a professionally framed copy of their poster and a €250 Arts & Hobby Voucher. The national winners also win €500 for the Green-Schools committee in their school. The video winners get €2,000 for the Green-Schools committee in their school, with the two runners up winning €500 each.