DIEPPE, NB: With Canadian kids spending an average of nearly eight hours per day in front of a screen, getting them outside can be tough. To help get kids excited about learning and being outdoors, the MAJESTA Trees of Knowledge Competition is back for its fourth year. Since September, Canadian schools have been entering for their chance to win an outdoor classroom valued at $20,000. Only eight weeks remain to enter - the deadline is January 20, 2014.
"Schools with outdoor classrooms have seen a significant and lasting impact on their students and teachers as well as the community - whether it creates an alternative teaching space in which to learn, a natural environment to help students study, or an inspirational space for creative projects," says Jim Schedler, Vice-President of Marketing for MAJESTA. "MAJESTA is proud of our ongoing commitment to help schools bring learning outdoors."
Canadian schools interested in the competition can apply online at majestatreesofknowledge.ca. A panel of judges will choose 10 finalist schools based on the strength and sustainability of their plan, how the classroom will positively affect both the school and the community, and how the school will rally support for their project. Once the finalists are chosen, Canadians can vote online daily over a four-week period to help their favourite school come out on top and take home the $20,000 outdoor classroom.
"Year after year the MAJESTA Trees of Knowledge Competition brings together communities and Canadians from across the country as they rally support for their favourite school and outdoor classroom concept," adds Schedler. "We cannot wait to see the unique submissions this year. We encourage every school to get involved, as it is more than a competition - it is a community project."
Schools that enter the MAJESTA Trees of Knowledge Competition have a chance to win one of the following:
• $20,000 grand prize: consisting of an outdoor classroom from MAJESTA, expert consultations from Tree Canada, and outdoor learning curriculum support from Focus on Forests
• Secondary prizes: $5,000 for second place, $3,000 for third place, $2,000 for fourth place, and $1,000 for all other finalists
• Most Creative Award: $3,000 for the school that had the most creative way to rally support during the voting period
How to Apply
The official rules and submission form can be found at majestatreesofknowledge.ca.
To enter, schools must submit the following:
• completed application form
• 400-word essay on why their school should be chosen to receive an outdoor classroom
• description and photos of the existing school grounds
• project description and plan for the outdoor classroom
• description of how the school will promote the project during the voting period
• letter of permission from the school board
• two-minute video (optional)
The MAJESTA Trees of Knowledge Competition was launched in 2011 in partnership with Tree Canada and Focus on Forests to help schools take learning outdoors. Since then, Canadians have cast almost 750,000 votes to help three schools bring their own outdoor classroom to life. The winning schools include St. Paul Elementary School (Beaconsfield, QC), Central Elementary School (Swift Current, SK), and Island View School (Saint John, NB).
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MAJESTA products are made from trees from J.D. Irving, Limited's (JDI’s) forests. As part of its award-winning commitment to responsible forest management, JDI plants seedlings every spring and summer to reforest the woodlands. In the past 50+ years, JDI has planted more than 940 million trees. Since 2001, JDI's forests have been certified by The Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc. ("SFI"). In the United States, the company's forests are also certified under the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC® C041515). Part of the J.D. Irving Group of Companies, a family business in operation for more than 132 years, MAJESTA's head office is located in Dieppe, New Brunswick.
The MAJESTA promise: We plant three trees for every one we use to produce MAJESTA products. Both soft and green, MAJESTA delivers the softness you can feel and feel good about.
About Tree Canada
Tree Canada is a not-for-profit, charitable organization established in 1992. Under the direction of an 11-member volunteer Board of Directors, Tree Canada provides education, technical assistance, resources, and financial support through working partnerships to encourage Canadians to plant and care for trees in rural and urban areas.
About Focus on Forests
Focus on Forests provides hands-on activities and support materials to assist teachers of all grade levels. The lesson plans are well organized and designed to be easily adapted to any teaching environment or grade level. Focus on Forests is a program of the Ontario Forestry Association. Together with Tree Canada, these two groups have combined their efforts to bring this forest education program to a Canada-wide audience and highlight the value that Focus on Forests plays in introducing forests to Canadian classrooms. This exciting new partnership is supported by Irving Consumer Products, the makers of MAJESTA household paper products.