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CREW's Kids & Community Power $aving Program involving Blessed John Paul II Catholic Elementary School reaches CLIMAX at the Catholic Elementary ECO FEST April 18, 2013 - ONE EXAMPLE OF CREW's KIDS in area schools

Could pesky children be the solution to climate change? - CREW believes this!

ONE EXAMPLE OF CREW's KIDS in area schools - creating CHAMPIONS for saving the planet!

CREW's KIDS & Community Power $aving Program held a winter term with Blessed John Paul II Catholic Elementary School in Kitchener. This split class of 4/5s were part of our experience at BJPII and are pictured along with Dr. Lien Lien, the program coordinator, and the classroom teacher Sarah Meadus.

The CREW's Kids & Community Power $aving & Renewable Energy Education Program is tyically designed for grades 5&6.

CREW designed/developed a practical curriculum that dovetails with the provincial education ministry's science curriculum that deals with electricity, primarily as theory. These kids are the perfect age for this where you wed the theory and practical around electricity conservation, but also introduce renewables - focusing on CREATION CARE as a motivator. The results are magical.

The students are introduced to the concepts of conservation and renewable energy and the importance of the mandate to BE GREEN! "Save Energy, Save Money, Save the World", as it says on the back of the t-shirts that all the students receive.

They are then introduced to a series of training sessions where work stations are set up in the classroom. CREW provides all the equipment that is new and safe including ground fault protection. The students are asked to bring one or two personal electronic devices from home as well as a household appliance to test.

CREW Power $aving Network has developed a tool kit named the CREW Power $aving Electricity Self-Audit Tool Kit which is made available for borrowing FREE from all public libraries across the Region of Waterloo with help in part, from the Region of Waterloo COMMUNITY ENVIRONMENTAL FUND.

The students are taught a basic method of measuring the power consumed by the appliance using tools included in the kit and recording the data, then calculating overall energy use and cost. They are taught how to identify a PHANTOM LOAD, which is energy consumed by devices that use energy when providing no purpose or service - wasting energy and valuable resources.

Click HERE for Training Session photo.

Once trained, the students are asked to go home and to do an energy audit of their own home along with other family members and under the oversight of their parents.

We then have a class reporting session where they share their home audit experience. We frequently hear comments that their parents were shocked by the wasted electricity that they discovered.

This year BJPII was the host school of a board-wide elementary level ECO Fest that centres around and leading up to EARTH DAY. All elementary school students are asked to enter a creative contest focussed on conservation and ways to live sustainably. The winners are all invited to the CLIMAX event of ECO Fest where the winners are identified and grand prizes of brand new bicycles are handed out. The board Conservation Officer does the honours. Hundreds of students, teachers and school reps attended.

Click HERE to see CREW's Kids presenting at ECO Fest April 18.

CREW's Kids did presentations about their experiences, their findings at home and in the school. In the school they found plenty of wasted energy and phantom loads. In the classrooms they discovered pencil sharpeners, CD players and other electronic devices that could save the board hundreds of $ a year per school - if unplugged. The class also created a cool Rap session/presentation about their experience that wowed everyone and did them and the school proud. CREW's Glen Woolner was one of the key-note speakers for the ECO Fest.

Click HERE to view a video of BJPII CREW's Kids presenting their cool Rap session.

The board Conservation Officer was obviously impressed and stated that every school should have this program. CREW's VISION or GOAL is indeed that. Once a school is equiped and trained, the program could be carried on year after year with little added cost. CREW could remain an available resource.

Following this event, a wrap-up session was held with the students where we took time to view photos and videos of their experience, quiz them on what they had learned and if they are practicing what the experience taught them. They had surprising retention and seemed committed to being GREEN. They are challenged to be CHAMPIONS for conservation and renewable energy in their school, their homes, their neighbourhoods, likewise challenging family and friends ot help SAVE OUR WORLD - to practice CREATION CARE. The students were then presented with a CERTIFICATE OF PARTICIPATION in the CREW'S KIDS & COMMUNITY POWER $AVING PROGRAM.

Click HERE to see Joshua Fonseca receiving his certificate from CREW's Kids Lien Lien and Glen Woolner..

Click HERE to see Emma Chiarenza receiving her certificate.

Click HERE to see Brody Gallant receiving his certificate from teacher Sarah Meadus.

In a sum-up evaluation with the teacher Sarah Meadus and principal Pam Garbutt, both agreed that the CREW's Kids class had become the talk of the school. The students were obviously getting a message out. Both Sarah and Pam also stated that the CREW's Kids program is an incredible leadership development tool/opportunity - something that is highly desirable and needs to be nurtured.

Click HERE to see BJPII Principal Pam Garbutt wearing her CREW t-shirt.

The experience was obviously a success. The question is - how do we take it from here?

OF NOTE: Blessed John Paul II was recently awarded GOLD as one of twelve Catholic schools in Waterloo Region that achieved certification as Ontario EcoSchools this year. Ontario Eco Schools is an education and certification program that encourages students to become environmentally responsible and reduce the ecological footprint of their schools. This is the second year in a row that BJPII has received GOLD.

CREW's Kids is made possible in part with funding assistance from the Region of Waterloo COMMUNITY ENVIRONMENTAL FUND.

 

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