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We are part of a collaborative research institute with The University of Queensland and founding partner of the Translational Research Institute
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Some of the smallest people at Mater are learning how to make a big impact on the environment through a unique hands on learning program.
Mater Childcare implemented the Sustainable Project Group and its success much like their herb garden is flourishing, as a whole centre they aim to incorporate environmental and sustainable learning activities into the children’s curriculum.
Educational Leader, Allyson Henriquez said the program was designed to build a framework of learning around community and environment.
“Our goal has been for the children to take an active interest in sustainability by encouraging them to play a role in protecting the environment. They are learning how to be environmentally responsible and empowered to make a difference,” she said.
One component of the program has been the recycling where parents and staff recycle eligible cans and plastic bottles in the bins provided and taken to recycling plants. The funds received go back into the centre for resources and equipment.
Secondly the children have been learning about the importance of composting and enriching soil with food waste. The centre has two compost areas, where children are able to feed the worms scraps from left over morning tea or vegetables for the kitchen.
Currently the centre is also participating in the Woolworths Discovery garden where each room has received a discovery garden box, an interactive story book and a plant diary where they can measure their plants.
Some of the rooms even boast beautiful herb gardens which are flourishing with coriander, chives, dill, parsley and basil.
“The children really love watering the garden and seeing how their plants are doing. They are developing a real sense of responsibility for their plants,” Allyson said.
“The learning objectives for this program have been to see the children become socially responsible and show respect for the environment.
They are learning to demonstrate respect for plants, animals, places and an increasing knowledge of natural and constructed environments.”
In November the centre will participate in Outdoor Classroom Day, an international campaign to celebrate and inspire the power of outdoor learning and play for young minds.
It aims for all children to benefit from learning experiences in their local outdoor environments which improves children’s health, engages them with learning and leads to a greater connection with nature.
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