These TCI Middle School Students Have Started A Club To Keep Turks & Caicos Beautiful By Nature
And they're doing some great work in the local community
Here at Lovin Turks & Caicos we have the privilege to celebrate the TCI's culture, community and the people that shape it. We recently received word of a small group of students from the TCI Middle school that we felt was worth sharing. This is their story.
Since arriving in Turks & Caicos last year their teacher (Samatha Chamley) noticed that many of her students were interest in helping the community. They were especially concerned about the environment so they started some small initiatives (clean ups, walks and general awareness) to get involved in such an important local cause.
Almost a year on, this September they decided to start an Environmental Club and go full force withs some ideas to keep the island "Beautiful By Nature".
In the last five months this new club has been busy, here's a look at what they've been up to:
- Going to Fish Fry and surveying plastic use and those who are willing to reduce, completing a comprehensive data sheet with these results in order to move forward
- Getting bin donations for the Fish Fry in the future
- Developed and presented to the school about plastic waste and what we can do to help
- Clean ups with the community and within their own means on a weekly basis
- Clearing the front of our school for a garden to be installed in the future
- Participation in Marine Apex Predator meeting hosted by the DECR and the Coral Conservation workshop hosted Dr. McField from the Smithsonian.
- Project for Coral Conservation sign in front of Coral gardens buoys
Funding for signs was generated through two school bake sales and BBQ's with another one larger BBQ held at Grace Bay Car Rentals. This funding allowed the students to start a base for their club projects but as it didn't cover the cost of a sign and all materials, so students created proposals for a selection of hotels to donate.
Students ended up receiving full funding from Alive and Well Resorts. With the efforts from Don at the Coral Reef Fund and Amy from the DECR, everything came together. Additionally, Alive and Well Resorts requested pamphlets about the coral in TCI which the students made and now can be found in every room.
The sign (which was fully designed by our students) will be put up for the public on the week of February 4th with support and reveal from all of those involved.
Also, in an effort to go plastic free students requested donations and support from local and international business. The students received a donation of one water bottle per student from Cupanion, which not only reduces waste, but with the app allows for one cup of clean water to be donated every time each bottle is refilled. The club is in the process of presenting this donation to the school and putting a system into place in the next few weeks.
And their not done yet, they are still working on..
- Designing eco friendly signage or reducing plastic waste at Fish Fry
- Adding more signage at Smith's Reef (duplicate signs have already been made and funded)
- Encouraging the school as a whole to become more eco-friendly and sustainable
- Educating and encouraging others to become more involved
- Developing a "Run for the Reef" event in the future so that people can be involved through something accessible that is already enjoyable to residents of the islands
- Building the School Garden
- While starting new projects to improve awareness that prolongs the health of Turks & Caicos
Samatha Chamley from the TCI Middle school was kind enough to share the club's fantastic story with us here at Lovin Turks & Caicos and had this to say about the great work the students are doing in the local community.
I have never in my teaching career been so proud of students who really want to make a difference where they live, so much so that they take things beyond the school and into their own hands. These are the students who you see investing hours of time into projects outside of school, are excited to learn more and teach it to others and can even make bushes come alive by jumping inside of them to pull out tens of bottles that have been littered over periods of time.
It is incredible to see how such small ideas, from such a small time can make such a big difference in a short amount of time. Our students really want to empower others to have a voice and share their passion! We are so appreciative of the TCI community, who support the Environmental Club's goals and hope to see more of TCI's population join in to keep this island that we are so proud of beautiful now and in the future!
We're so happy to see the students of the TCI coming together to create good in the community and make an impact on the environment. Special thanks to Samatha for sharing this with us and of course the Environmental Team themselves!
- Aaliyah Oudman (Year 11)
- Isabelle Watkins (Year 11)
- Malachi Malcolm (Year 11)
- Danarah Brooks (Year 11)
- Lee-Andra Lige (Year 11)
- Wendana Rolle (Year 11)
- Daryl Streete (Year 10)
- Emma Regan (Year 9)
Be sure to do your part in keeping the islands Beautiful By Nature, and big thanks to everyone for keeping up the good work!