Holiday fun with Club Xtra and Our Lady’s environment club
When holidays can be hard to fill, structured activities can help a great deal, and EcoACTIVE delivered a series of workshops to do just that during summer 2009.
Based at Hackney Free Secondary School, the play scheme known as Club Xtra took on an international theme during August. Participants decorated European flags and found out more about how different countries deal with their waste.
We followed this up with a ‘waste art’ project in the autumn. As part of Black History month, Club Xtra members learned about how children in some African countries use waste materials to create useful items and make a little money for their families. They then tried their hand at creating beautiful things from rubbish, making toys, musical instruments and jewellery to take home or give away as gifts.
Another group of students from Hackney primary schools who didn’t get bored in the holidays last Easter were based at Our Lady’s Convent High School, attending a holiday environment club for year 6 pupils which ecoACTIVE helped set up and run. Partly aimed at introducing pupils to the secondary school that they might be attending, and partly to engage them in sustainability issues, the sessions were designed to look at climate change, alternative energies and the need to reduce, re-use and recycle waste.
But they were fun, too: a fantastic scrap art project kicked off the sessions, with the participants making an extraordinary 6-foot mosaic version of the school’s emblem out of plastic waste, including drink cartons and crisp packets. They also made their own beautiful paper out of scrap they found in the school.
Sessions on energy – where it comes from, how we use it, the impact of energy use on the planet and alternative methods of creating it – led to a Dragon’s Den challenge for the participants: could they come up with a great new energy-saving plan and persuade a panel of potential investors that theirs was the best idea? They certainly came up with some great concepts, and we hope they’ll keep being creative about sustainability – maybe this could lead to a bold new generation of eco-entrepreneurs…!