Linton Kindergarten unveiled their Enviroschools’ sign with a whānau breakfast today. The sign, provided by Horizons Regional Council, recognises the kindergarten’s commitment to creating a sustainable future as normal practice in the early childhood education centre.
Developed by a not-for-profit trust, Enviroschools support children to be active citizens who contribute to restoring and renewing the world in which they live. The programme also helps the kindergarten to assess current sustainable practices, develop new strategies and recognise how the way they use resources affects the environment.
Linton Kindergarten recently joined the programme, which integrates into Te Whāriki, the Ministry of Education’s early childhood education curriculum, enabling foundational skills, such as literacy and numeracy, to be developed in real life examples.
Papermaking is just one way the kindergarten children have become empowered to help manage some of the kindergarten’s generated waste in a fun and practical way. During their shared breakfast of pancakes, scrambled eggs and milo, the children also explained how they, “look after plants and look after the planet”. A list of examples included using worm-shake and collected rainwater to look after the vegetables they are growing, as well as using recycled paper bricks to keep the kindergarten’s guinea pigs warm.
Exploring the environment through natural science not only extends the children’s physical development but also provides hands on opportunities to create healthy, resilient and sustainable kindergarten communities. Non-packaged food items such as fruit and vegetables and the use of compost bins contribute to minimising waste, which also leads to health benefits and lower power and waste disposal bills for the not-for-profit organisation.
The Enviroschools’ signs profile supporters of the programme in the Horizons Region and help identify participating education providers such as Linton Kindergarten. “The breakfast was a fun way for us to show everyone how we care for our earth in lots of little ways,” says teacher, Shelley Newson. As part of Linton Kindergarten’s celebrations, many guests joined the teachers and children in wearing pyjamas.