Celebrating Green Success at Xewkija Primary School

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This year's edition of Gozo Arbor Day, nationally known as 'Jum is-Sigar f'Ghawdex' was celebrated on Thursday 16th January 2014 at Gozo College Xewkija Primary. The hands-on activities for children was jointly organized by the Xewkija Eko-Skola Committee, the School Council, Hands-on Farming Programme, Gozo College within Ministry for Education and Emplyement and Eco-Gozo within the Ministry for Gozo.

Xewkija Primary School which in November 2013 has won the third consecutive international award - the Green Flag was again celebrating other achievements, namely: the EcoGozo funds provided to school to purchase resources for a sustainable education as well as being the National Tree Planting School Winners for 2012/13 amongst all schools throughout Malta and Gozo. These successes were celebrated during the annual educational activites of Arbor Day.

At school, hands-on activities including story-telling and reading sessions about Giving Trees, tree collages, paintings and potting of new trees were all organized in the classrooms. The distinguished guests, including Minister for Gozo Dr. Anton Refalo M.P., visited each and every class and saw children's partecipation during the event. Some students even read their own prose and poem about Arbor Day. Later on the Year 6 students together with the Minister for Gozo and the Xewkija Local Council Mayor planted native trees and plants in the school garden. Distinguished guests also attended this educational activity, amongst which were the Xewkija Mayor Mr. Paul Azzopardi, Eco Gozo Director Mr. Anthony Zammit and Gozo College Principal Mr. Victor Galea.

Arbor Day was also marked by a message from the Minister for Gozo, Dr. Anton Refalo M.P. who stressed the importance of the green initiatives of the school and that this example will be followed up on a regional level.  Dr. Charles F. Grech, Assistant Director (Environmental Affairs-Public Administration) presented the National Tree Planting Shield and a number of books to one of Xewkija Primary students.  In his short speech, Dr Grech encouraged children and adults to make Gozo greener by planting more trees.  Mr Joe Grech, Hands-on Farming co-ordinator donatedpackets of seeds of native trees to all children as well as coordinated the potting of new plants at school.  In his message, the head of school, Mr Frank Tabone said that sustainable education is part and parcel of the school curriculum and together with all stakeholders, especially the Xewkija Local Council, the school promotes, encourages and awards children’s initiatives such as tree planting, cleaning up campaigns and energy saving activities. A word of gratitude and appreciation goes to both teaching and non-teaching staff at Xewkija Primary who worked hard to ensure the educational objectives of these activities are reached.  At the end of the event, all the children, staff members at Xewkija Primary and guests were treated with some locally fresh food delicacies thanks to local sponsors including Tax-Xiber Bakery (Xewkija), St. John Foodstore (Xewkija), Gozo Cottage (Xewkija), Farmers’ Foods (Xewkija) and Ta’ Dirjanu.

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