World Environment Day

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5 June 2017VCAL students grow vegetables to feed the hungry

World Environment Day is the biggest annual event for positive environmental action and takes place every 5 June. This year’s host country Canada chose the theme ‘Connecting People to Nature’, and implores us to get outdoors and into nature, to appreciate its beauty and its importance, and to take forward the call to protect the Earth that we share.

Many of our schools have created environments and programs for their students and communities to connect to nature with their school gardens, often referred to as ‘outdoor classrooms’. One VCAL class at Our Lady of Mercy College, Heidelberg, used their garden to grow food that they donated to a food relief agency.

School gardens have been developed at many other schools, including St Mary Magdalene’s School, Chadstone, and St John’s School, Footscray.

Pope Francis inspired us when he called on everyone to unite to protect 'our common home' in the encyclical Laudato Si' and last year saw the launch of the Education for Sustainability in the Archdiocese of Melbourne resource.

As Holly, a student at St Mary’s School, Williamstown, said at the launch, ‘Sustainability is about working together with others in our community to get our hands dirty in our learning, while helping the world to be a safe and healthy place’.

Many of our schools have active Sustainability programs that inspire students to care for our world. Some schools and teachers have been recognised for their efforts by awards including St Joseph’s School, Elsternwick, winning a ResourceSmart Award and St Justin’s School, Wheelers Hill, teacher Deborah Butler winning the Sir John Monash Sustainability Leadership award.

Deborah said, ‘Through our rich and diverse curriculum Sustainability is embedded as a priority and the students are taught the importance of looking after our planet for future generations. On completion of their primary education our goal for all our students is that they are active global citizens who are ready to take their place in the world. The further development of our Sustainability program and increase links to STEM will contribute to this goal.’

For more information visit the World Environment Day website.