The Oak Lake Community School, a K-8 community school joined an environmental citizenship program in 2010 aimed at developing student leadership and citizenship. As a result the “Push for Paperless” project was launched with a goal of reducing the amount of paper consumption by 50%, a project that involves a variety of technology-based strategies.
The School has implemented an extremely creative and innovative project that is multi-faceted. An LED (digital) sign message board is located outside the school. In addition to the paperless benefit, the message board is powered by wind energy, a truly prairie solution!
In September of 2011, Oak Lake Community School applied to The Brandon Area Community Foundation for a grant to assist with the $14,000 LED Message Board project. BACF was thrilled to have the opportunity to support such a sustainable and collaborative project with a $5,000.00 grant.
Implemented by the Community Schools Project Initiative program at Oak Lake Community School, Brenda Masson, Oak lake Community School Principal and Kimorie Lees, Community School Connector/Teacher were supported not only by the students and staff but various community groups and individuals who also realized the long term benefits of the project. This initiative represents a true collaborative effort by the entire community.
In addition to the LED sign, the Oak Lake Community School continues to implement other technology based initiatives to reduce paper consumption including mass email lists for information distribution, increased use of SMARTBoards and projectors, electronic book readers and online systems for attendance and student records.
“Acting as agents of change, it is possible for our students and staff to take a leadership role in reducing our community’s impact on the environment,” states Brenda Masson, OLCS principal. “Projects like this are essential in the development of responsible environmental citizens,” she added.
The message board will be used to share school and community news and information, post sustainable living reminders and strategies and eliminate the need for many notes and newsletters while promoting community involvement in sustainable living, community and recreational activities.
This initiative involving the entire community, positively impacts our environment, represents a technology based solution and youth were the driving force. Brandon Area Community Foundation congratulates Oak Lake Community School on such an innovative collaboration.