Deep Creek Middle School (DCMS) in Deep Creek, South Eleuthera was awarded its sixth prestigious Eco-Schools Green Flag Award on Monday, May 30, 2022. The Green Flag Award is the highest award level that a school can achieve, and it can be awarded every two years for environmental excellence. The school campus underwent an onsite assessment by the Eco-Schools Bahamas Assessment Team, and they met all the requirements with flying colours. DCMS was also honoured to receive the first Merit Award Certificate in the BREEF Ecco-Schools Bahamas programme for its outstanding contribution to Eco-Schools Bahamas.
The Bahamas Reef Environmental Educational Foundation (BREEF) runs Eco-Schools in The Bahamas and Eco-Schools Bahamas is part of an international award programme developed in 1994 by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE). Eco-Schools, which is based on the work of student- led teams, recognizes schools for their achievements in Education for Sustainable Development and continuously improving the sustainability performance of the school as well as the wider community.
Through identifying and implementing solutions for environmental challenges in their schools, students drive a spillover effect in the surrounding communities.
“I feel really proud. Before I came to Deep Creek Middle School, I didn’t really feel the need to cut plastic out of my life. I have learned a lot by doing certain things differently every day,” said Gianni Meadows, 9th grade DCMS student and Eco-club member.
“Along with a lot of things that we’re doing for our school, we will continue to do waste management and monitor the water and electricity that we use,” said 8 th grader and Eco-club member Finley McKinney-Lambert Speaking about the special event, DCMS parent and BREEF’s Executive Director said, “I’m so pleased that Deep Creek Middle School has embraced environmental education and action. DCMS students
are a model for the country and the world, and they should be very proud of their achievements.”
According to DCMS science teacher and Eco-Schools Coordinator Mr. Hadish Street, “A huge number of people have put a tremendous amount of effort into not just achieving Green Flag certification, but really upholding the values that certification represents; sustainability and environmental education which is very much the ethos of Deep Creek Middle School.”
According to Ms. Daenette Gardiner, principal at DCMS, “We will continue to uphold and build on our environmental standards in anticipation of our next renewal in two years.”
During DCMS’ time of virtual and hybrid learning, students attended Eco-Club meetings virtually. When they returned to the school campus, many classes were held outdoors using covered outdoor classroom spaces. Since DCMS is part of the Cape Eleuthera Island School, students were able to experience the outdoor research and education facilities at the Island School and the Cape Eleuthera Institute during their “School Without Walls” programme. Many students also engaged in sustainability practices at home, such as conserving water and electricity, and planting a garden.
BREEF is extremely proud of the unwavering commitment and environmental stewardship that DCMS students continue to champion. BREEF Education Coordinator and National Operator for the Eco-Schools Bahamas Programme, Kevin Glinton stated, “We are delighted to have awarded Deep Creek Middle Schools with a certificate of merit for their outstanding contribution to the Eco-Schools Bahamas programme, achieving six consecutive Green Flag awards, and their continued commitment towards Excellence in Environmental Education and Environmental Stewardship.”