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LCIS attains third Green Flag Award

Lyford Cay International School (LCIS) received its third Eco-Schools Green Flag Award after successfully undergoing an onsite evaluation by the Eco-Schools Bahamas (ESB) assessment team.

Students reduced their carbon footprints to attain the third prestigious award for continued excellence in environmental education and practice. The prestigious Green Flag Award is the highest award level that a school can achieve through the ESB program and can be granted every two years. LCIS met all award criteria and accomplished over two-thirds of the objectives detailed in its environmental action plans.

On the first Thursday of every month during the school year, the LCIS community was encouraged to carpool, bike or walk to and from school in fulfillment of its Eco-Schools’ healthy living and climate change goals.

Dr. Stacey Bobo, LCIS principal, said the program has raised awareness in the school community.

“Even I am taking Green factors into account in my discussions,” said Bobo. “The Eco-Schools Programme has become a key part of how we plan as an institution.”

LCIS also maintains a litter-free campus in fulfillment of the most critical component of the ESB program.

The school’s acronym “green lics” summarizes their environmental stewardship goals: go outside; reduce, reuse, recycle; ensure lights are off; eat from a litter-free lunch; no disposable water bottles; litter in the bins; carpool, bike or walk; keep track of things; stay at 24-degrees Celsius or more.

“Attaining our third Eco-Schools Green Flag is a significant accomplishment that represents our Eco-Club’s commitment to improving the environment through ongoing environmental review which informs our decision-making towards the implementation of sustainable programs and initiatives,” said Ashish Bowen, LCIS Eco-Schools’ coordinator. “This award reinforces that positive steps towards environmental improvement are attainable if the entire school community buys into its importance and participates.”

Mateo Lopez, LCIS Eco-club president who oversaw the development of the Eco-Schools program, said he was happy to see new initiatives develop over the course of his tenure.

The Bahamas Reef Environmental Educational Foundation (BREEF) runs Eco-Schools in The Bahamas and Eco-Schools Bahamas is part of an international award program developed in 1994 by the Foundation for Environmental Education.

Eco-Schools is based on the work of student-led teams and recognizes schools that make a commitment to continuously improve their environmental practice. There are currently 30 Eco-Schools in The Bahamas and over 52,000 Eco-Schools in 68 countries. Through identifying and implementing solutions for environmental challenges in their schools, students drive a spillover effect into the surrounding communities.

BREEF officials were pleased with the unparalleled continuity of the ESB program at LCIS, and excited that LCIS had pledged to assist neighboring western New Providence schools in joining the program.

Kevin Glinton, BREEF’s education coordinator, commended and thanked LCIS assessors – Sally Johnson, of the Ministry of Education; Te-Shalla Clarke, of Dolphin Encounters; and Samantha Miller-Cartwright, from The Bahamas Environment, Science & Technology Commission (BEST) – for their continued support of the Eco-Schools Bahamas program which encourages young people to engage in their environment by allowing them the opportunity to actively protect it.

Schools interested in joining the Eco-Schools Bahamas program can contact BREEF at 327-9000 or email: ecoschoolsbahamas@breef.org.

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