A group of Grade 4 students at Ecole Parc Elementaire are contributing to a better environment through their composting program.
The Alberta Curriculum for Grade 4 covers an environmental unit that includes waste management. Several students in Alain Levesque's class formed a compost team that manages a program that includes presenting the dos and don'ts of composting to each classroom in the school.
"Mr. Levesque, through the curriculum, got his class involved and made a composting team, and this team of students have taken it and ran," said Amy Archibald, a parent volunteer and member of the school council.
In 2019, Archibald approached the City of Fort Saskatchewan about piloting a composting program in the school, which would see Ecole Parc incorporated into the city's green bin pick-up route.
The pilot launched with success with three classrooms using composting bins; however, it had to be paused in 2020 due to complications from the pandemic. In September 2021, the program was launched throughout the school.
"We established kitchen catchers in each classroom, the school council provides the little compostable bags to put in each of the compost bins," Archibald explained.
The compost team collects bags every day from each class and takes them to the green bin, set out by school staff on their collection day.
"We have this group of Grade 4 students that are just so excited to have this responsibility, and they feel like they are making a world of difference, which is amazing to see."
Archibald added the city has been very supportive of the school composting program and has made the program easy for the school and students. They're even talking about bringing an additional green bin to the school for potential future composting initiatives.