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What’s happening in Rainbow Schools?

Espanola High School receives World Wildlife Fund-Canada Green Grant

Espanola High School has received a $3,500 World Wildlife Fund – Canada Green CommUnity School Grant to share “go green” stories locally and beyond.

“On behalf of Rainbow District School Board, I would like to thank the World Wildlife Fund-Canada and Loblaw Companies Limited for supporting school projects that promote sustainability,” said Rainbow District School Board Chair Tyler Campbell. “I would also like to commend Espanola High School for fostering environmental awareness through its dynamic Spartan Youth Radio Program.“

This grant will be used to purchase additional equipment, including a portable lighting system and high quality video camera, to allow us to produce five mini-documentaries as part of our Spartan Youth Radio Green Stories Project,” says Espanola High School Principal Marty Punkari. “Spartan Youth Radio is Canada’s only high school podcast radio station. We produce high quality radio programming and teach high school students how to use digital media to communicate with the world.”

Teacher Jayson Stewart, who launched Spartan Youth Radio five years ago, says students will write, film, produce and distribute documentaries about global, national and local environmental issues and make them available to schools and the community for free.  A particular focus will be to bring voice to aboriginal perspectives on environmental issues.

“Spartan Youth Radio has a very strong social and global conscience,” says Stewart. “Students have interviewed author Margaret Atwood, Survivorman Les Stroud and jungle explorer Lawrence Poole about important environmental issues. The mini-documentaries being made possible thanks to the WWF-Canada grant will focus on practical things young people can do to minimize their ecological footprint.”

The Green CommUnity Program supports projects that reduce the impact on the environment, promote positive solutions, foster leadership, and provide inspiration for students and communities to take action.

This grant comes on the heels of two significant donations to Espanola High School in the past year – a $20,000 grant from Best Buy to support communications technology and Spartan Youth Radio; and a $10,000 grant from Skills Canada and Lowe’s to enhance construction education and contribute to the local community.


Media Contact:

Marty Punkari, Principal, Espanola High School,

Rainbow District School Board, 705-869-1590.