The Return and Earn school’s category of the Keep Australia Beautiful NSW 2108 Sustainable Cities Awards went to Glenmore Park High School fundraising for a minibus for the Special Support Unit.
Driven by nine (9) staff and 23 students, this project is a clear demonstration of the strong links between Glenmore Park High School and its community, actively involved in the monthly drinks containers collections.
When Return and Earn was announced, the school decided to raise money for a mini-bus to transport students to a variety of educational excursions.
Special bins were placed around the school for students and teachers to dispose of eligible drinks containers. The school’s S3 class, with five (5) students, carried out the practical side of the project and collected from these drop-off points after lunch each day. One of the school Learning Support Officers used her truck to return containers at the Eastern Creek automated depot, and the Support Unit Head Teacher collected the money. Students spent five (5) hours each week collecting eligible containers and the whole community including, parents and staff, the local coffee shop and The Shed, all contributed to make this initiative a success.
Glenmore Park High School won the Return and Earn school category of the 2018 Keep Australia Beautiful NSW Sustainable Cities Awards.
Over the course of two school terms, the school raised a total of $3,500 and increased the students esteemm as well as the Support Unit’s reputation in the eyes of the school and the wider community. The promotion in the local media, including the Daily Telegraph, Penrith Press and Western Weekender, resulted in a donation of a bus from Hertz Penrith. The funds raised with Return and Earn are now used to buy equipment for the Special Unit such as new ovens for the kitchen and interactive whiteboards.
The Return and Earn scheme has become part of the fabric of Glenmore Park High School and provided the opportunity to incorporate a real-life, tangible learning experience under the NSW Years 7-12 syllabus subject area ‘Sustainability’. It was also instrumental in teaching students to advocate for improved sustainability, responsible recycling and socially-informed worldview behaviours.
Chris Roberts, Support Unit Teachers, said: “We are very excited about this Award and the sense of achievement that the students have, has been the greatest success”.
Glenmore Park High School continues collecting containers through Return and Earn. By the end of March 2019, the school had raised $9,000. The school is currently using their fundraising for the Relay for Life Cancer Council, as well as sharing it around the school for different causes.