Environmental education wānanga inspires ECE teachers

On Wednesday 7 October Horizons Regional Council hosted a ‘Māori Perspectives through the Water for Life theme’ wānanga for Early Childhood Educators (ECE).

Run through the Enviroschools programme, the wānanga was an opportunity for ECE teachers from across the region to come together to explore the theme of water from a Māori perspective.
Horizons environmental educator and Enviroschools regional coordinator, Sarah Williams says a core part of the wānanga was to encourage centres to showcase their mahi in this area.
“One way in which we support our Enviroschools is by providing opportunities for them to connect with others in the network at both district and regional level. This regional wānanga is our second with an ECE specific focus.”
More than 60 teachers from across the Horizons Region attended the wānanga held at Manchester Street School and Feilding Kindergarten which are both Enviroschools.
“Empowering students to work towards sustainable communities is at the core of the Enviroschools kaupapa. Horizons and the regions’ city and district councils contribute funding for the facilitation of this programme in a number of ECE centres, primary and secondary schools,” says Ms Williams.
“We are new to the Enviroschools programme,” says Karen Kennedy, Senior Teacher, Marton Junction Community Pre-school. “This wānanga has been a great opportunity to share ideas which will help us to achieve our goal of reducing plastic waste, creating a garden and water collection.”

Horizons Regional Council facilitates the regional coordination of the Enviroschools programme - a national behaviour change programme aiming to create a generation of young people who think and act sustainably. There are 73 Enviroschools across the Horizons Region, from early childhood education through to the primary and secondary sectors.

Enviroschools are highly engaged in a wide range of environmental actions and sustainability practices such as waste, biodiversity, transport and social justice.

A snapshot of the Enviroschools programme can be found here.