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  Step 6: Inform and involve the wider community

  
One of the essential components of the Eco-School process is the dissemination of information about the activities to the whole school community, the children’s households, the local community, and the community at large. The idea is to inform as many individuals as possible about Eco-School and to actively involve them in the process, hence promoting local Agenda 21 principles.

Involving the wider community does not only serve to publicise the school’s initiatives, but also brings a range of other benefits. Parents, local businesses and local councils can be sources of advice, information, practical help and even money … all of which are essential for the success of the programme.

The following are some ideas how Eco-Schools committee can disseminate news and information:

Involving the whole school

  • hold a school-wide election campaign for pupil representatives on the Eco-School committee 
     
  • dedicate school assemblies during which prospective pupil representatives can explain to the rest of the school why they want to join the committee 
     
  • publishing information gathered during the environmental review on the Eco-School notice board so that the whole school can be kept updated regularly about the progress being made in addressing the targets set 
     
  • hold school-wide surveys to gather information about the state of the school’s environment 
     
  • regularly utilise assemblies to launch Eco-School activities and to communicate any progress made thus, children can be encouraged to utilise diverse presentation methods (e.g. drama, music, presentation software) to make their communication more effective 
     
  • publish information about the Eco-School activities in the school’s website (or if one is not yet available, produce an Eco-School website for the school) 
     
  • hold a school-wide competition for the wording and design of the school’s Eco-Code 
     
  • organize a yearly Eco-School celebration event during which the whole school can celebrate the success achieved during the year

Involving the community

  • produce a newsletter that regularly keeps parents updated about the Eco-School process and copies of the newsletter can also be sent to other members of the community (e.g. local council, local businesses, relevant government agencies and NGOs) 
     
  • send letters to local businesses seeking support initiatives 
     
  • ask resource persons from the community to come to the school to give talks or offer help in particular tasks 
     
  • hold press releases publicizing Eco-School activities, research results and achievements 
     
  • hold community-wide surveys to gather information about the environmental issues that are mostly relevant 
     
  • disseminate the school’s Eco-Code to the local community 
     
  • invite people from the community to attend Eco-School celebration events