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Toronto Catholic District School Board

In the 21st century, I think the heroes will be the people who will improve the quality of life, fight poverty and introduce more sustainability.”

Bertrand Piccard​

21st century heroes are among us in the SJCS community. This year’s Eco Club has worked tirelessly towards the making our school more sustainable, and making the world more just. Under the leadership of President Ayalina Jonathan, the club has undertaken several ambitious initiatives this year with these goals in mind.

While St. Joseph’s students and staff certainly enjoy the school’s location in the heart of the action in downtown Toronto, the density of this area of the city leaves little room for green space. To help students connect to nature, the Eco Club has developed plans for a learning garden. This garden will be built at the front of the school’s property, along Wellesley Street. It will provide opportunities for classes to get involved in planting, maintaining and harvesting food grown here at the school. The largest challenge in getting this project off the ground was a lack of funding, so the Eco Club has secured a grant from the Ministry of Education that will fund the construction of the garden, as well as workshops for teachers and students on planting and caring for the garden. We have partnered with FoodShare, a local charitable organization that grows organic fruits and vegetables in the city and supplies them to food banks, soup kitchens and school cafeterias. Look for the garden to be sprouting very soon!

The members of the Eco Club also have a strong interest in the connections between the environment and social justice. Witnessing the suffering of millions of people in Africa and Yemen as a result of famine, the club felt compelled to take action. We organized two events to raise money for Development and Peace’s Famine Relief Fund. First, we ran a Krispy Kreme donut sale. Secondly, we organized a clothing drive in which students and staff brought used clothing to be donated to the Kidney Foundation. This initiative contributed to sustainability by promoting reuse and recycling of almost 2000 pounds of clothing! In addition, the two activities together raised almost $600 that was donated to the Famine Relief Fund.

In recognition of all of the efforts that all members of the school community have made to reduce our impacts on the environment, SJCS was awarded Eco School Silver Certification for the 2016-17 school year. Congratulations to the members of the Eco Club and thank you for the hard work that benefits all of us!​