Ancaster High Students Eat, Sleep, Drink … GREEN

- Students celebrate and inspire environmental leadership at board-wide event -

ANCASTER, ON, May 11 /CNW/ - Students at Ancaster High School pledged to help other students in Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB) boost their commitment to protect the environment by hosting the Board's first environmental forum, Eat, Sleep, Drink ... Green.

Led by Ancaster High's EcoNinjas, a team of students who have taken important steps to reduce their carbon footprint, the event is part of HWDSB's plan to enhance indoor air quality, thermal comfort and lighting, and reduce waste as well as carbon emissions in its schools.

"As an environmental leader in my school, I'm trying to do all I can to reduce my carbon footprint," said Kate Richards, Co-Chair EcoNinjas. "My personal goal is to influence as many of today's youth as I can to do the same."

Students were joined by keynote speaker and environment educator, youth advocate and community innovator Lisa Glithero who spoke about "being the change you want to see in the world," based on the famous quote by Gandhi. Using a multimedia presentation and personal stories, Glithero encouraged students to see how their choices, actions and vision can lead to positive change at the personal, school, Board-wide, community and global levels.

Sponsored by Ameresco Canada and hosted by CTV host, Marcia McMillan, students had the opportunity to participate in break-out sessions to brainstorm five environmental action pledges for 2010-11 in the following categories: Personal Space/Home; School; Local Community; Board-wide; and World/Global. Students were to bring back the pledges to their respective schools and design an action plan for their school.

"An event like this is such a great opportunity for our students. In Facilities Management, our goal is to improve both the teaching and learning environments at HWDSB. Thanks to the leadership of Ancaster High's EcoNinjas, we hope this will inspire more greening efforts at other schools and the event will become an annual youth environmental leadership forum," said Don Hall, senior manager, Facilities Management at HWDSB.

For EcoNinjas staff advisor Jason Smith, it was inspiring to witness the enthusiasm of all the students. "This day will hopefully begin a tradition of HWDSB schools committing to five common goals to reduce the carbon footprint of Hamilton," he said.

Students also participated in an Ameresco-sponsored video contest themed around reducing their carbon footprint as an extension of their Earth Day and Ancaster HS's own Earth Hour.

Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board

Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board has a vision in which all students achieve their full potential. Embracing achievement, engagement and equity, the Board's 5,000 staff strive to provide relevant, responsive education so that each of our 50,000 students become life-long learners and contributing citizens in a diverse world. With an operating budget of $484.5 million, HWDSB is proud of the 114 schools that serve the communities that make up the amalgamated City of Hamilton, including Ancaster, Dundas, Flamborough, Glanbrook and Stoney Creek. For more information visit hwdsb.on.ca or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/hwdsb .

Ameresco Canada

Ameresco assists clients in the education, healthcare, government, social housing, commercial and industrial sectors with the design, construction and financing of their own renewable energy sources that are both clean and affordable. With more than 36 years of experience in the K-12 education market,Ameresco has strong experience in school facility renewal, focusing on meeting the needs of Education leaders through the creation of quality teaching and learning environments. Through its Better Schools(R) initiative, Ameresco has completed more than 150 projects encompassing over 2,000 schools, generating over $500 million in facility-related utility savings to date, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions (CO2) by 20 per cent. Visit us at www.ameresco.ca

/NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited members of the media/

SOURCE AMERESCO CANADA INC.

For further information: For further information: Jackie Penman, Corporate Communications Manager, (905) 527-5092, ext. 2301, (905) 317-0086, jackie.penman@hwdsb.on.ca; Ameresco Canada Inc, Craig Piercey, Vice President, Marketing & Business Development Services, 1-888-483-7267, cpiercey@ameresco.com

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