Lo­calschools takepartin EcoRangers pro­gramme

Drogheda Independent - - COMMUNITY NEWS -

Three lo­cal schools have al­ready signed up to re-con­nect with na­ture through the Eco Rangers pro­gramme.

Ter­mon­feckin NS, Scoil Mhuire Gan Smal in Car­town and Ardee Monastery Boys School are al­ready tak­ing part and cre­at­ing their very own Eco Sa­fari.

They are amongst 600 schools in the coun­try par­tic­i­pat­ing in the pro­gramme and now Bord na Móna want to dou­ble that num­ber in 2018 and are call­ing for more schools and fam­i­lies to get in­volved, take part in a na­ture walk and pub­lis it on their site.

The com­pany is to­day call­ing for more schools, more teach­ers and more school-kids to get in­volved in Eco Rangers, a pri­mary schools pro­gramme which at­tempts to over­come the grow­ing na­ture deficit amongst chil­dren by re-con­nect­ing them with na­ture in a fun and in­ter­ac­tive way.

Speak­ing at the launch of Eco Rangers for 2018, Sara Byrne, Bord na Móna said: ‘Un­for­tu­nately, more and more we are see­ing young kids spend­ing too much time on Ipads and Plays­ta­tions. All re­search in­di­cates that di­rect ex­po­sure to na­ture is es­sen­tial for healthy child­hood devel­op­ment and for the phys­i­cal and emo­tional health and well­be­ing of chil­dren. Our schools pro­gramme, Eco Rangers, aims to ad­dress just that, and with over 600 schools signed up across the Coun­try, we are call­ing for more schools to get in­volved.

‘While the em­pha­sis is on schools to par­tic­i­pate, the pro­gramme can also be used by the chil­dren with their fam­i­lies in their lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties around Ire­land. Fam­i­lies can log on to www.ecorangers.ie and take a look at the many eco sa­faris that have al­ready been up­loaded to the site.’

Eco Rangers is a pro­gramme by Bord na Móna which sets out to re­con­nect chil­dren with na­ture and learn about bio­di­ver­sity through a se­ries of ed­u­ca­tional and fun el­e­ments. Teach­ers are pro­vided with all the tools they need such as teach­ers’ packs, les­son plans and games.

It en­ables classes to em­bark on Eco Sa­faris, na­ture walks, where they can map out na­ture trails, look at and in­ves­ti­gate flora and fauna, take photos or draw pic­tures and doc­u­ment what they see. Chil­dren are en­cour­aged to cre­atively con­nect with na­ture, with each school de­vel­op­ing their own be­spoke na­ture ta­ble.

Once a teacher has reg­is­tered for the pro­gramme, each teacher will get a per­son­alised log in for our site where they can upload all the in­for­ma­tion gath­ered from the na­ture walk to cre­ate an on­line gallery.

Sara Byrne con­tin­ued: ‘Young kids that learn and play out­side get di­rect ex­pe­ri­ence of weather, the sea­sons, wildlife, flora and fauna – things that are only pos­si­ble out­doors – and they get to as­sess risks, solve prob­lems and de­velop creativ­ity. The ben­e­fits may seem ob­vi­ous, but in re­al­ity many chil­dren don’t get to be out­doors in a nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment in any reg­u­lar or mean­ing­ful way. Eco Rangers ad­dresses this and is suit­able for all pri­mary school classes from ju­nior in­fants through to sixth class.’

Dar­ryl Coen, Vilda Tate, So­phie Tate, Kate­lyn Gun­ning PJ O Brien and Elaine Gun­ning at the St Mary’s Dioce­san School Ca­reers Night

Fr Colm O Ma­hony, Pierce Mc Lough­lin, Sr Agnes, Alex M Kay , Rene Nulty and Fr Joe Campbell at the St Mary’s Dioce­san School Ca­reers Night

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