Times Colonist

Students celebrate green win


Just about everyone at McTavish Elementary wore green for an assembly yesterday to celebrate a $50,000 prize won by their school’s environmen­tal club — the Green Team.

Team members, led by teacher Maria St. Amand, emerged from an online environmen­tal contest against 167 other schools from across North America to win $50,000 in cash and prizes for their school. That includes $10,000 cash, with prizes that could include playground equipment, a greenhouse or a skateboard park.

The contest, by QuantumShi­ft. — a web-video network that makes use of citizen journalist­s — came down to a week of online voting pitting 190-student McTavish against two other finalists. Both were larger American schools, one a high school with 2,700 students.

With McTavish set to close at the end of this month after 60 years, the prizes and money will go to Kelset Elementary, St. Amand said. Kelset, a new school opening in September, will take in the catchment areas of both McTavish and Saanichton Elementary, which is also closing at the end of June.

“I’m totally blown away,” she said. “I really didn’t think it was going to get to this point. The kids are so pumped,” said St. Amand

The winning video showed how measures like composting and recycling soft plastics helped reduce the school’s garbage by almost 80 per cent. McTavish’s winning total was 3,847 votes. Second place tallied 2,192 and third had 868. McTavish also topped a judges’ poll.

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