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Kindy gets award

Wednesday, 13 April 2011 3:36 p.m.

A Mount Maunganui kindergarten celebrated taking a big step in becoming more sustainable when it received a Bronze Enviroschools award.

To celebrate, the Gwen Rogers Kindergarten held a shared lunch with their local community at their Mount Maunganui centre on Wednesday 13 April.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council Deputy Chairman Philip Sherry said the award recognised that the kindergarten had begun its journey towards sustainability by learning about the living world, managing water use and promoting emission free transport.

'They have incorporated the principle of sustainable communities and are empowering their students to make sustainable choices with their everyday actions. They've made a great start to becoming a greener kindergarten," Mr Sherry said.

 "Sustainability in the Enviroschools programme also considers social, cultural, and economic benefits as well as environmental. This award recognises their holistic approach to developing their programme," he said.

"The kindergarten is building connections with their community through events like cultural pot luck dinners and Grandparents' fishing day. Teachers introduced Maori concepts of purakau (traditional stories) through plays and mihi or introductions based on connections to the land. 

"The students are also helping fund their gardening projects by selling excess vegetable and liquid fertiliser from their worm farm," Mr Sherry continued.

The kindergarten is already planning their next steps to becoming more sustainable, including looking a replacing shade cloth with shade trees in their playground, and how children can be involved in this decision-making process.

The Tauranga Regional Kindergarten Association, including Gwen Rogers Kindergarten, participates in the Enviroschools programme with the support of the Bay of Plenty Regional Council. Kindergartens are encouraged to develop their own vision with their community for sustainability in their centre.

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Gwen Rogers Kindy Bronze Enviroschool Award 2011 lowres