The pupils and staff of St. Anne's School in Charleville celebrated acquiring their fourth Green Flag for their school when they braved the mixed weather conditions to see school traffic warden Margaret Morey, assisted by Jennifer Moloney and Emma Morrissey, raise their new flag, which they were awarded for implementing a transport programme in the school.
An Taisce has operated the national Green-Schools Travel Programme, which focuses on promoting sustainable travel on the school run, since September 2008. The programme is funded by the Department of Transport and supported by the National Transport Authority. The programme is delivered through the successful Green-Schools programme, known internationally as Eco-Schools, in partnership with Local Authorities throughout Ireland.
Angela Wall, An Taisce's Travel Education Officer with for Cork, Kerry and Limerick, was on hand to participate in the Green Flag ceremony, and in her address said that St Anne's Girls School has made a huge effort to encourage pupils, parents and staff to walk and carpool instead of using the private car on the school run. On the average school day there are less cars at the school gates due to all their hard work.
On WOW/WOF (Walk On Wednesdays/Walk On Fridays) staff and pupils walk all or part of the way to school and on most days students now travel to school in a more sustainable way.
They have made excellent progress in reducing traffic congestion outside the school, which also means less CO2 emissions from cars and they have fun on the walk to school. They are far more alert on arriving at school, have increased awareness of sustainable travel, road and cycle safety and the whole school community is playing their part as responsible citizens and caring for their environment, Angela Wall said.
The honour of raising the new flag fell to school traffic warden Margaret Morey who has been controlling the traffic at the pedestrian crossing outside the school for the past 11 years. Tribute was paid to her diligence and efficiency on the busy western entrance to Charleville town where St. Anne's School is located at the junction with the Town Park, by teacher, Elizabeth Barry, who was the MC for the event.
School Principal Carmel Rainsford congratulated all the pupils who participated in adding the transport and travel green flag to the three Green Flags they already secured.
The pupils from the various classes entertained with a number of songs specially composed for the occasion and Voice of Ireland winner Keith Hanley was also on hand to provide entertainment. He got a rousing reception from the young pupils when he took the microphone to perform for the attendance that included Canon Sean Cotter, Canon Michel Harrington (retired), Father Tom Naughton, C.C., Grad Nick Phelan, Community Garda,Michael Murphy, chairman of the school board of management and the teaching staff.
Mr. Murphy made presentations to two departing members of staff in Cora Nash who is leaving to take up a position in Buttevant National School and Maura Curtin who is moving to Ballyhea National School.