Calling all Green Teachers!

Belfast Harbour today launched the 2011 Green Teacher of the Year Awards 2011 and is calling on all primary school pupils to help find Northern Ireland’s ‘greenest teacher’. Organised by Belfast Harbour and Action Renewables, the unique competition aims to reward primary school teachers for showing environmental leadership and taking responsibility for the environment.

Thousands of pupils in over 800 primary schools across Northern Ireland are being given the opportunity to help their teacher be crowned ‘Belfast Harbour Green Teacher of the Year’ by telling Action Renewables, in no more than 100 words, about the hard work their teacher does to look after the environment and educate children about ‘green’ issues.
All entries must be made to Action Renewables by October 21st when they will be judged by a panel of experts, including David Knott, Environmental Manager, Belfast Harbour, Laura Coey, Primary School climate change teacher, Action Renewables and Jacqueline Gibson, Sustainability Co-ordinator at Graham Construction.
Six finalists and their classes will be invited to take part in an all-expenses-paid fun challenge day at W5 on Wednesday, 16th November, 2011, where they will meet Webster, Belfast Harbour’s environmental Port ‘Monster’, invent wind-powered racing machines and enjoy an interactive ‘Talking Rubbish’ show.
The day will conclude with one teacher being awarded the coveted Belfast Harbour Green Teacher of the Year title and winning tickets for their class for the Christmas pantomime or Ulster Orchestra concert, a large hamper for the teacher, as well as an additional day at W5. There will also be prizes for the two runner ups of hampers and W5 tickets for their classes. All pupils attending the Challenge day will receive goodie bags.
Roy Adair, Belfast Harbour CEO, said:
“We’re excited to be launching the 2011 Green Teacher of the Year Award, an initiative which has really caught the imagination of primary school children right across Northern Ireland and significantly raised their awareness of a range of environmental issues. While the teachers are credited with the award, the pupils of the six lucky finalists are the real winners as they get to experience the competitive, yet fun-filled, Challenge Day at W5 and meet Webster, which is always a highlight for everyone involved.
“The Green Teacher initiative is a key element of our extensive engagement with schools and I would encourage pupils to nominate teachers who are deserving of the title. Belfast Harbour is actively committed to fulfilling our environmental responsibilities and highlighting the benefits of reducing waste and energy consumption to a wider audience.”

Nicola Chang, New Business Developer, Action Renewables, said:

“It is vital that our leaders of tomorrow learn the importance of environmental responsibility and accountability. Initiatives like the Green Teacher of the Year Award provide the ideal platform from which to deliver key messages which will hopefully remain with the children for life. Action Renewables is delighted to once again join forces with Belfast Harbour for what is the third year of a competition which recognises primary school teachers’ continued commitment to environmental projects and educates children at a young age about green issues.
 “Once again there are fantastic prizes on offer and we look forward to the entries coming in, there were over 600 individual entries in 2010 and we are confident of receiving even more this year.”
Last year’s judging panel was unable to separate two of the finalists at the Challenge Day, with Mr Stevenson from Loughview Primary School, Newtownbreda, and Mrs McGauley from Blessed Patrick O’Loughran Primary School in Castlecaulfield, Co Tyrone, being named joint winners of the coveted gong.
Any primary schoolchildren who think their teacher deserves the Green Teacher of the Year title should send their entry, which should consist of no more than 100 words, to ‘Belfast Harbour Green Teacher of the Year 2011’, Action Renewables, The Innovation Centre, NI Science Park, Queen’s Road, Belfast BT3 9DT or email by October 21st to ensure their teacher doesn’t miss out!