ESSAY WINNERS: Winners in the essay competition are all smiles as they are accompanied by Cecilia George, left, School Supervisor II, Ministry of Education, and Arvalon Wilson-Smith, second from right, president of the Black Deer Foundation.

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Girls win lion's share

Environmental competition for schools

PUPILS from across the North and South Eastern Education Districts shared the spotlight as the bpTT 2012 Primary and Secondary Schools Environmental Awareness Competition held its prize-distribution ceremony at the Mayaro Resource Centre recently.

It was a proud moment for Kerry Cummings, a Standard Three pupil of Mafeking Government Primary School, who took top place in the 7-9 age category in the art/poster competition.

"I am really happy to have won and I know that my dad will be especially proud of my success. I am always drawing and I wanted to see if I could enter this competition and win. I was really inspired because preserving the environment and protecting our forests are very important. I will continue to draw and spread the message about saving the environment with my art," Cummings said.

Now in its sixth year, the highly successful competition is endorsed by the Ministry of Education and organised by Mayaro-based environmental NGO, Black Deer Foundation. It is one of the benchmark projects facilitated by energy company bp Trinidad and Tobago.

Ronda Francis, corporate responsibility manager, bpTT, was very pleased with the level of participation this year. "Environmental protection and community development are two of bpTT's key focus areas and this competition combines both of these aspects.

It is inspiring to see how involved these young people are in the different aspects of the competition, whether it is debating a critical point, writing a thought-provoking essay or expressing their artistic creativity. Their all-round excellence speaks well for the preservation of the environment," Francis noted.

The theme for this year competition was 'Preserving our Forests for the Continuity of Life', with judging in three categories: essay writing; the popular art/poster division and the stimulating debating component.

Outling a project overview was Arvalon Wilson-Smith, president of the Black Deer Foundation: "This year we took the competition to a higher level with participation from 65 primary and secondary schools. It was no easy task for the judges as we saw a total submission of 158 essays and 137 art pieces, while nine secondary schools competed in the debate. The young people have demonstrated that they are able custodians of the environment. We hope to build on this success and with the continued support of bpTT, this competition will keep growing and nurturing the best that our youth have to offer."

Cecilia George, School Supervisor II of the North Eastern Education District, was high in praise of the competition. "This environmental competition is an excellent forum for allowing young people to express themselves while encouraging them to learn in a fun and interactive manner. Every participant is a winner because their experience will shape them into becoming better life-long learners and well-rounded citizens. Thanks to bpTT and the Black Deer Foundation for their tireless work in educating young people to preserve the environment and giving them yet another forum to shine," George said.

Major results of the 2012 bpTT Primary and Secondary Schools Environmental Awareness Competition:

Art/Cartoon

7 to 9 Age Group Winner – Kerry Cummings, Mafeking Government Primary

10 to 12 Age Group Winner – Rehanna Ali, Sangre Grande Primary

13 to 15 Age Group Winner – Celess Allen, Princes Town East Secondary

16 to 18 Age Group Winner – David Rivers, Princes Town East Secondary

Essay Writing

10 to 12 Age Group Winner – Leon Basanoo, North Oropouche RC Primary

13 to 15 Age Group Winner – Kelly Ann Kahllawan, Cowen Hamilton High

16 to 18 Age Group Winner – Annicer Abdool, Barrackpore East Secondary

Debating

Champions (North Zone) – SWAHA Hindu College

Champions (South Zone) – Mayaro Secondary School

Champions (Grand Finals) – SWAHA Hindu College

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