Monday, 21 January 2013 14:16

Schools can enter contest to win a computer lab

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Schools in Canada have an opportunity to win a $25,000 computer lab through a contest currently underway. For the third year, Staples Canada has teamed up with Earth Day Canada to run the 2013 Recycle for Education Computer Lab contest which will award 10 computer labs to deserving schools across the country.

One $25,000 lab is up for grabs between Saskatchewan and Manitoba while two labs will be awarded to schools in Alberta, Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
In a survey commissioned by Staples in December, it showed 86 per cent of Canadian teachers believe an upgraded computer lab will help students progress in reading and literacy skills as well as subjects like science, math and social science. It also showed more than half the computer labs in Canadian public schools are outdated by more than two years and one in five schools lack computer labs at all.
“We are a back-to-school provider and we provide a lot of supplies. Technology is a focus for Staples,” says Leigh Pearson, director of facilities and environment for Staples. “We realize how important (technology is) not only for sustainability, but the more important part is how we are educating the next generation.”
Working with Earth Day Canada this year, Staples will donate $25 to that organization for every school which enters the contest.
“Working with Staples on the Recycle for Education contest allows us to recognize schools for their environmental initiatives while providing teachers and students with the technology necessary to research and implement new strategies to lessen the environmental impact of their school and beyond into their communities,” said Jed Goldberg, president of Earth Day Canada in a news release.
To enter the contest, one student from each Canadian elementary or secondary public school can submit a principal-approved 500-word essay. It needs to explain how their school has become environmentally-responsible.
Entries must be submitted online at: or on the Staples Canada Facebook page.
According to contest criteria: “The winning student/school uses visionary thinking to incorporate environmentally responsible behaviour into everyday school life. They demonstrate a long-term commitment to protecting and preserving the environment, by: creating a special science project; implementing an innovative recycling program; growing a garden; or finding a way to conserve energy. They are perceived as an environmental role model in their community, inspiring other schools to follow suit.”
The deadline to enter is Feb. 22 and the winners will be announced in April.
Officials with Staples are eager to receive another round of entries this year.
“It’s been exciting to watch the growth of the program,” says Pearson. “There’s amazing passion and accountability we’ve read about from kids as young as kindergarten.”
Contest entries have been increasing annually as has interest in the company’s recycling programs.
Winning schools can receive help recycling their old computer labs and Staples offers a toner cartridge recycling program for schools. More information is available at:
Pearson looks forward to seeing the contest submissions in the coming weeks.
“Every year, we find the calibre of what we are receiving has been rising. It motivates the rest of us,” she says. “The younger generation is teaching us we all have it in us to make a difference.”

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Rose Sanchez

Assistant Managing Editor

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