‘Green School’ status for Mount Talbot N.S.

Mount Talbot N.S. was deservedly awarded the prestigious ‘Green Schools’ Green Flag award in recognition for their wonderful commitment and dedication in improving the school’s surroundings and instilling an awareness of environmental issues in its young pupils’ minds.    The flag was officially raised on Tuesday by Mrs. Emma Cronin, a member of the School Board of Management. The ceremony took place in the well-kept and colourful schoolyard in the presence of the pupils, teachers, parents and Board of Management members who helped in getting the award for the school.    ‘Green Schools’ is an international education programme run by An Taisce in co-operation with local authorities throughout Ireland. It is a scheme designed to raise awareness of environmental issues and apply them to the day-to-day running of schools, by applying a practical approach to the curriculum.   Mount Talbot primary school registered for the scheme last April and since then has worked consistently in conjunction with Roscommon County Council and other members of the community, to promote a greater sense of responsibility, respect, and knowledge of our environment to its 35 pupils.    Sarah Scott, representating Roscommon County Council, spoke at the raising of the flag on behalf of Environmental Officer, Olwen Cooney. ‘I know Olwen was very impressed at the level of awareness and willingness shown by everyone involved and also heartened by the enthusiasm and commitment’.   Principal, Anna Rogerson wanted to thank both fellow colleague Mary Kelly and Roscommon Co. Council for the support and encouragement they gave and explained how beneficial the programme has been to the school.    ‘Our landfill waste has been reduced by 65%, because of the introduction of compost bins and a ‘fruit break’, where children were asked to only bring fruit to school for their 11 o’clock break’.    All at Mount Talbot school can now take pride in their hard-earned achievement, brought about continual assessment and specific targets. An extension of two classrooms is being built this summer, there has been talk of the inclusion of solar panels in the school.   An incredible 75% of County Roscommon schools are participating in the programme and the number is set to rise and considering that by 2025, landfill waste is set to increase 4 to 5 times in developed countries, the importance and relevance of the Green Schools scheme is greater than ever.   Fr. Francis Beirne, Chairman of the School Board of Management, wisely remarked that: ‘The care and manner in which we behave towards our environment starts in small ways’. But it is fair to say that the way in which Mount Talbot school has worked will make a big difference.