Environmental Awards for Schools
In order to

(a)    raise the profile of Rotary International (and the Fairfield Club) within schools and their communities; and

(b)    recognise leadership in schools in developing and practising environmental awareness, the club implemented these awards in 2011. They have become an annual practice.

$200 is presented to students and/or adults in each participating school to recognise commitment to good environmental practice and support projects within schools. All the schools involved have environmental education programmes and associated activities in place as demonstrated by their selection of recipients.
Awards have been made to
  • a Year 2 student and the school’s Property Manager for their teamwork;  

  • Property Managers/Caretakers/Gardeners because of their “extra effort”;

  • individual students who had applied themselves to researching environmental issues with a view to being able to suggest solutions - one of these Year 8 students later spoke to a Rotary Club meeting, impressing the members with his understanding of the topic and the clarity of his self-assured presentation;  

  • the teacher supervising student research; 

  • students who designed and carried out a significant school and community; 

  • groups of students who developed and maintained school gardens and, in one case the development in a gully area of a sensory garden, a peaceful place to observe nature, relax and reflect, in conjunction with a neighbouring early childhood centre;  

  • the whole school for involvement in caring for the environment; was saluted.  Worm farms in some schools help put food scraps to good use, contribute to healthy and productive gardens and help raise funds for other environmental activities;  

  • the group of students and their teacher who are the current “specialist group” responsible for the activities centred on its unique eco-classroom;

  • enthusiastic staff providing leadership and encouragement in learning about and caring for the environment – beyond their job descriptions; 

  • the school community for sustained, dedicated and voluntary effort to develop the school environment in a manner consistent with its principles;

  • a parent who voluntarily cares for the school gardens; 

  • support research into “Sustainable Communities Through Kai” at one school - Rotary joined the Enviroschools Foundation, the Tindall Foundation and World Wildlife Fund in a project that involves students, staff and the community.  The results are shared with the other schools in the area.

School assemblies where the awards have been made are always attended by numbers of parents and grandparents.  This provides a golden opportunity to raise the profile of Rotary and to inform those present of some of Rotary’s contributions to the local, national and international community over more than 100 years.
Twice the Club has spoken about this project on Community Radio and was the recipient of the Rotary District Governor’s Environmental Award for 2012-13.