Touchstone Community School was established in 1996 in Blooming, Manitoba. Blooming is a rural town with a current population of about 350 school going children. The challenge in this region has been to cater to the educational needs of such a small concentration of children who reside in a rural community where homes are so widely spaced. After much discussion amongst parents in the community, and with the support of local authorities and business, it was determined that more should be done to allow children to attend school closer to home rather than be ferried out to neighbouring school districts or going to boarding schools.
After successfully lobbying for government funding and winning several grants, the community raised enough money to purchase land and buildings for the school. Under the leadership of the appointed school head, Dr. Margret Misha, it was decided that the school would not only provide training on typically assessed subjects like languages, math and science, but also a chance to explore extracurricular interests in music, art and sports.
The school is steeped in the belief that the most well rounded student is one who has explored all his or her abilities to find an interest that will bring the most satisfaction in life. We believe that better understanding where talents lie will provide the best guide to choices made for post secondary education and careers.
Thanks to generous donations from local business and grants, the school is able to provide an extensive curriculum and well equipped facilities for all manner of extracurricular activities. This approach to education has made the school so popular that we are now seeing more students transferring from neighboring districts.
Energy Efficiency Programs for Schools
Let’s be real and make a statement. It takes a lot more energy to run a school than it does to run a home. Sure, it requires physical energy to keep things running as they should, be it from teachers, aides and principals, but it also takes actual electricity as well. For this reason, many schools around the Winnipeg area are looking to energy efficiency programs to reduce the operation costs and make running the schools a little bit greener.
Schools are now looking to install solar panels on the roofs and will be looking for the best electricians Winnipeg has available. who know about solar energy to build, install, own and maintain the panels as well as the big battery cells that will be holding all of the harvested energy for the school. The schools will then buy that electricity from the owner at a much lesser cost than what they are paying for electricity now. This effort would also allow schools in the area to be better prepared for natural disasters, such as hurricanes, that would cause the school to lose power otherwise. Schools need to be made less vulnerable to power outages for children to be safe and receive the best education possible. Schools also usually serve as emergency shelters during times of natural disasters and states of emergency, so they need to be able to be heated and lit, especially during these times.
Additionally, there are many other benefits that come with making schools more energy efficient. This will allow heating and cooling systems to be modernized, which keeps the kids warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer, provide new and more efficient lights, automate the electrical controls, allow water to be more conservable, and seal the building envelope much better. With these energy efficient methods in place, such as the solar panels, the schools would be reducing their energy costs by at least a third!
Making schools energy efficient is important and is something everyone, school-aged child or not, should be concerned about. After all, our children deserve a good education and a safe and comfortable place to receive it. An energy efficient school is a great place to start and the money saved can then be put to better use for the children.