27th June 2011: Eco-Schools received a major boost today when Airtricity, Northern Ireland‟s fastest- growing electricity supplier, announced a major three-year sponsorship package, to support the important environmental education programme across the province.
Airtricity and Eco-Schools announced the three-year partnership today (Monday 27th June 2011) at Hazelwood Integrated PS, an exemplar Green Flag school in Belfast, where studying the energy topic has helped shave thousands of pounds off the schools‟ energy bill. To mark the announcement, pupils at Hazelwood Integrated PS discovered the future of energy efficient transport when they „plugged-in‟ to Toyota‟s new Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle Technology, one of only three such vehicles on our roads, and which is powered by Airtricity.
As Principal Sponsor of the Eco-Schools programme Airtricity is developing a brand new set of free resources for children and teachers on energy efficiency, that will complement the NI curriculum, as well as providing schools with the chance to win great energy saving prizes.
The Airtricity-sponsored Eco-Schools programme will help schools to promote sustainable development and in particular to improve their energy efficiency through involving pupils in hands-on actions that can make a real difference. The resources will be available from a brand new website designed to support schools studying energy topics and encourage pupils to get the energy saving message out into the local community. As well as teaching materials and practical activities Airtricity are also adding the expertise of their very own "Energy Doctor‟ to enhance pupils‟ knowledge of how to save energy.
With 740 registered participants in Northern Ireland, over 60% of schools in Northern Ireland are eco-schools. In adopting this approach to education for sustainable development these schools work towards the prestigious international Green Flag standard.
Mrs Patricia Murtagh, Principal at Hazelwood IPS said “We are very proud of our achievements at Hazelwood with regard to our Eco-Schools status. We have made a real difference in our school, cutting costs through our careful use of energy and the development of our school grounds. Our Green Flag is another wonderful achievement and each child is continuing to play their part in sustaining our eco-friendly credentials.”
Jason Cooke, Head of Communications for Airtricity, commented “We‟re delighted to be supporting the Eco-Schools programme as its Principal Sponsor. At Airtricity we are committed to helping schools and communities throughout Northern Ireland become more sustainable. Eco-Schools is an exciting programme and one that makes learning about energy efficiency simple and fun. Through our sponsorship of the Eco-Schools programme we want to inspire children, teachers and parents to become champions for energy-use reduction, awareness and efficiency within schools, communities and homes.”
Dr Ian Humphreys, CEO of TIDY Northern Ireland, is delighted to welcome Airtricity on board as Principal Sponsor of the Eco-Schools programme in Northern Ireland. “Involving pupils in studying the Airtricity Energy Topic and the Eco-Schools programme provides a very practical approach to delivering the curriculum makes maths relevant and fun and, by improving energy efficiency in the school, makes sound financial sense. Everyone wins as pupils take this learning home and help their parents save pounds too.”
Eco-Schools sponsored by Airtricity is a free-to-enter programme that has real benefits for pupils, teachers and the school budget! To register please visit www.eco-schoolsni.org.