If a child is to develop a greater appreciation for their environment and the great outdoors, it makes sense then to incorporate outdoor learning wherever possible into their curriculum. It’s for this reason that I took interest in a Press Release sent to me by a PR firm relating to a contest initiated by the paper products company Majesta.
The contest aims to assist schools in their outdoor learning endeavours by offering as much as $20,000 towards the development and building of an outdoor learning classroom on school property. Now seeking applicants for it’s 4th annual edition of this contest, I received the Press Release in the hopes of being able to help spread the word. I was also supplied images of the 2011 winning school which was St. Paul Elementary School in Beaconsfield, QC. As I support initiatives like these I felt it would be acceptable to help promote this contest and in so doing, simply share the contents of the Press Release with our readers as part of our committment to provide Enviro News and Events coverage :
Trees of Knowledge Competition takes root across Canada to help schools Take learning outdoors
- Canadian schools encouraged to apply for their chance to win a $20,000 outdoor classroom from MAJESTA, Tree Canada and Focus on Forests -
TORONTO, ON (September 10, 2012) – Back to school doesn’t just mean back to books this year; the MAJESTA Trees of Knowledge Competition is back for a third year to help Canadian schools win a $20,000 outdoor classroom. Since 2011, MAJESTA, Tree Canada and Focus on Forests have been helping schools take learning outdoors, and this year even more schools will have the opportunity to bring their projects to life with additional prizes available for schools that finish 2nd, 3rd and 4th and for the school that shows the most creativity in rallying support. To apply, Canadian schools can visit majestatreesofknowledge.ca and enter before January 13, 2013.
“The Trees of Knowledge Competition is about more than building an outdoor classroom,” says Jim Schedler, Vice President of Marketing for MAJESTA. “It’s about bringing schools and communities together in a meaningful way to create a unique space that will get students excited about learning, nature and the environment. It’s also part of MAJESTA’s ongoing commitment to environmental sustainability.”
From all the submissions, 10 finalist schools will be chosen by a panel of judges based on the strength and sustainability of their plan, the impact the classroom will have on the school and community and how the school will drive support for their project. Once the finalists are chosen, Canadians will have the opportunity to vote online for their favourite school to determine who will win the $20,000 outdoor classroom.
“We continue to be inspired by the creativity, passion and excitement shown by participating schools, their communities and Canadians coast to coast,” adds Schedler. “This excitement is not only due to the strength of the entries, but is also the result of how the finalist schools have rallied local support through community events and outreach. We look forward to connecting with even more schools this year and helping many of them take on their own outdoor classroom projects.”
Since the program was launched in 2011, more than 80 schools from across the country have submitted an application for their chance to win an outdoor classroom. Ideas for outdoor classrooms have included everything from gardens and nature trails, to shaded study areas, interactive learning spaces and musical play places.
Schools that enter the MAJESTA Trees of Knowledge Competition have a chance to win:
- a grand prize consisting of an outdoor classroom from MAJESTA valued at $20,000, expert consultations from Tree Canada and outdoor learning curriculum support from Focus on Forests
- secondary prizes consisting of $5,000 for the runner-up, $3,000 for third place, $2,000 for fourth place and $1,000 for all other finalists
- the most creative prize consisting of $3,000 for the school who shows the most creativity, enthusiasm and community engagement during the voting period
How to apply:
Schools interested in entering the MAJESTA Trees of Knowledge competition can view the Official Rules and apply online at majestatreesofknowledge.ca by January 13, 2013. To enter, schools must submit a:
- completed application form
- 400 word essay on why their school should be chosen to receive an outdoor classroom
- description and photos of the existing school grounds
- project description and plan for the outdoor classroom
- description of how the school will promote the project during the voting period
- letter of permission from the school board
- a two-minute video (optional)
MAJESTA is the soft and green choice for household paper products. MAJESTA products are made from trees from J.D. Irving, Limited’s forests. As part of its award-winning commitment to responsible forest management, J.D. Irving, Limited plants seedlings every spring and summer to reforest the woodlands. In the past 50+ years, J.D. Irving, Limited has planted over 850 million trees. Since 2001, J.D. Irving, Limited’s forests have been certified by The Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc. (“SFI”). In the U.S., the company’s forests are also certified under the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).
Our promise is: “We plant three trees for every one we use to produce MAJESTA products.” Both soft and green, MAJESTA delivers the softness you can feel and feel good about.
About Tree Canada:
Tree Canada is a not-for-profit, charitable organization established in 1992. Under the direction of an 11-member volunteer Board of Directors, Tree Canada provides education, technical assistance, resources and financial support through working partnerships to encourage Canadians to plant and care for trees in rural and urban areas.
About Focus on Forests:
Focus on Forests provides hands-on activities and support materials to assist teachers of all grade levels. The lesson plans are well organized and designed to be easily adapted to any teaching environment or grade level. Focus on Forests is a program of the Ontario Forestry Association. Together with Tree Canada, these two groups have combined their efforts to bring this forest education program to a Canada-wide audience and highlight the value that Focus on Forests plays in introducing forests to Canadian classrooms. This exciting new partnership is supported by Irving Consumer Products, the makers of MAJESTA household paper products.
Should any school decide to apply to this contest, please let us know. We’d love to follow how things evolve.