Students of the Excelsior High SchoolFrom a recent Jamaica Observer feature about the Excelsior High School, “a ‘green’ school in the heart of Kingston”:

STUDENTS and teachers of Excelsior High School have embarked on a series of activities to maintain the green environment of the Mountain View Avenue-campus in Kingston.

A vibrant environment club, which maintains a greenhouse and recycles waste, and the school’s agricultural science programme are some of the initiatives that will ensure the institution does not become a concrete park like some urban area schools.

Of significance is the school’s environment club, which numbers 105 students from first through sixth form.

“We have just established a greenhouse with different plants, which we use as a tool to teach children about where the food we eat comes from,” noted sixth former Andreen Street.

“Over time, we want to create a specimen garden with plants on display so that students can know what the leaves and stems of each plant looks like and how to take care of them,” she added.

The greenhouse has been an eye-opener for the students, many of whom are from inner-city communities and are not used to agricultural activities.

“For example, most persons don’t know what a potato or tomato plant looks like,” said another sixth former Aneishka Christie. “(Recently), a student asked if pineapples grow on trees.”

Each class at the school has an environment ambassador who automatically becomes an environment club member, but any other student who is interested may join.

The school also recycles paper and plastic bottles in collaboration with the Jamaica Recycling Company.

“Also, we recently installed a solar panel on the kitchen, which we use to boil water so we save gas,” said Christie.

Social studies teacher Janice Campbell, who also has responsibility for special projects at the school, recalled that a thrust to plant flowers and grass in dusty areas of the property was started by the students’ council about 10 years ago.

“(With the) planting trees and flowers at grade seven block, other persons started to plant in other areas and with that, the environment club was founded, which took it to a new level,” she said.

Find out more in the original Observer article.

[Photo: via jamaicaobserver.com]

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