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Knowledge doesn’t grow on trees but learning in an outdoor classroom could be the next best thing.
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May 20, 2011
Knowledge doesn’t grow on trees but learning in an outdoor classroom could be the next best thing.

- Canadian schools invited to apply for chance to win a $20,000 outdoor classroom from MAJESTA, Tree Canada and Focus on Forests-

TORONTO (May 19, 2011) - Can getting students outside help get them thinking outside the box? Can a little extra sunshine make students a little brighter? To help teachers and students experience the benefits of being outdoors, MAJESTA, the soft and green choice for household paper products, has created its Trees of Knowledge™ program. The program invites Canadian schools to submit applications for a chance to win a complete, customized outdoor classroom, valued at $20,000.

“Dating back as far as Sir Isaac Newton’s discovery of gravity while sitting under a tree, educators and students have benefited from learning in outdoor classrooms. Spending time outside can help foster an environmental ethic among students, improve social interactions and lead to higher scores on standardized tests,” says Jim Schedler, Vice President of Marketing for MAJESTA. “We encourage all schools to visit www.majesta.com and apply to our Trees of Knowledge program. It’s easy to see the benefits of incorporating time spent outdoors into the curriculum.”

The contest is open to all Canadian schools and the deadline for applications is August 12, 2011. The winning prize is valued at $20,000 and can include things like topsoil, boulders/furniture (large rocks, logs/stumps), coniferous trees, deciduous trees, shrubs, or planters depending on the winner’s proposal. As partners in the Trees of Knowledge program, Tree Canada, an organization dedicated to empowering communities to develop and maintain their green infrastructure, will provide technical support to the school. The school will also receive curriculum support through Focus on Forests, a teaching tool that provides hands-on activities and support materials for outdoor learning.

For a chance to win a Trees of Knowledge outdoor classroom, schools must submit:

A completed application form, available to download at: www.majestatreesofknowledge.ca/apply A 500 word essay on why their school is the most worthy candidate for an outdoor classroom One to five photos of the school grounds, including the proposed site of the outdoor classroom A landscape-site plan A letter of commitment for the outdoor classroom project from the School Board

Applications will be judged based on criteria such as the impact the classroom will have and the longevity and sustainability of the outdoor classroom project. Judges will select the finalist schools from which the ultimate winner will be chosen by online voting.

“At MAJESTA, we’ve made a commitment to sustainability. It’s a priority for our brand and for our parent company J.D. Irving, Limited. We call it being ‘tree-sponsible’ and have made a promise to plant three trees for every one that we use to produce MAJESTA products,” says Schedler. “We want to help our next generation get involved and learn about the benefits of the environment. An outdoor classroom is a great place to start, and plant the seed about environmental learning and stewardship.”

About MAJESTA:

MAJESTA is the soft and green choice for household paper products. MAJESTA products are made from new wood fibres of trees from J.D. Irving, Limited’s forests. As part of its award-winning commitment to responsible forest management, J.D. Irving, Limited plants seedlings every spring and summer to reforest the woodlands. In the past 50+ years, J.D. Irving, Limited has planted over 827 million trees. Since 2001, J.D. Irving, Limited’s forests have been certified by The Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc. (“SFI”). Our promise is: “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. Tree Canada and the Ontario Forestry Association have formed a National Education Partnership, highlighting the value that Focus on Forests plays in introducing forests to Canadian classrooms. Together, these two groups have combined their efforts to bring a Canada-wide forest education program. This exciting new partnership is supported by Irving Tissue Corporation, the makers of MAJESTAhousehold paper products.

For more information: Sinead Brown Paradigm Public Relations sbrown@paradigmpr.ca 416-413-5193


 
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