Budding environmentalists helping their community
A southern kindergarten has become the first in Southland to achieve a Green-Gold standard in the Enviroschools Programme.
On Friday, Waverly Kindergarten celebrated the milestone with a new sign being placed outside the kindy while every child was given a gold medal and a strawberry plant.
The kindergarten has been in the Enviroschools Programme for about four years and to achieve the Green-Gold status, the highest available, it has to show that children have a deep understanding of and are engaged with the environment.
Head teacher Sheree Condon said a lot of the children could talk about the importance of recycling, what rubbish is good or "red", which goes into the land.
Some of the kindy's practices have changed as a result of learning about the environment. It is looking to change its fluorescent lights and is reviewing its water practices.
The children were also working on a book that would be given to new entrants, Condon said.
It is hoped, that long after the children leave kindy, they would continue to be aware the environment and be good ambassadors to look after mother nature.
On the gold medals the children received, it says "I am an environment champion", indeed they are.
Enviroschools regional co-ordinator Fiona Young, in a statement, said: Children at Waverley Kindergarten are motivated to find opportunities to connect with their living environment and the wider community."
"From capturing rainwater to irrigate the glasshouse, recycling of yogurt containers (involving other kindergartens) to their celebration of waiata and cultural identity there is plenty happening, and a good understanding of 'why'.
"It was an absolute pleasure to reflect on the Mahi done with the teaching team at Waverley Kindergarten."