Des Grands-Êtres elementary school in Montreal has put a planet-friendly spin on how they run their breakfast program. Mario Cloutier is the school’s drama teacher. Here, he talks to us about the impact of this environmental mindset and shares how important the breakfast program is to the student population.
“I’m the teacher in charge of the Green (Environment) Committee at Des Grands-Êtres elementary school. Below is an overview of what drives our school team to contribute to this initiative.
Students are excellent agents of change, whether it’s through setting up projects to protect the environment or supporting a sustainable initiative in the local community. I hope my answers to these five questions will give you a good idea of what we’re doing here!”
Mario Cloutier, drama teacher
What about your breakfast program are you particularly proud of?
Three or four years ago, we introduced a school-wide composting program. We have even put together a “green squad,” made up of Grade 6 students, who are responsible for emptying out the composting bins and putting them back every day.
What advice would you give to other schools who have green ambitions?
Kids are our future, and the environment should be one of the most important priorities for anyone who works with them. It takes a generation to create new behaviours. So today’s students are the ones who will eventually lead real and lasting change.
How has your breakfast program affected school spirit?
The breakfast program is essential to the development of our kids. It helps improve their learning conditions by making sure they have access to healthy snacks.
What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever heard someone say about your breakfast program?
Everyone has their favourites when it comes to the food that is served. Some are “the best.” Others… not so much. So sometimes we hear things like, “Oh, no. Not that again!” But we can also hear an excited, “Awesome! I love this!”
If you could invite someone famous to breakfast at your school, who would it be and why?
Greta Thunberg, to make our students feel even more inspired to take care of their environment. Or (even if they’re not exactly famous) the CEO of a company who’d be willing to build us a green roof!