Horizons Regional Council has joined forces with Horowhenua Junior Neighbourhood Support to educate children about water conservation.
Horizons environmental educator Helen Thomas visited Fairfield School in Levin to deliver an interactive presentation to students using the ‘Kura Kaitiaki: water conservation’ resource on Tuesday, 25 August.
Mrs Thomas said the session aimed to increase students understanding around how they use water at their school and how they can make more informed decisions around how to use it more wisely.
“Group discussions focused on water as a limited resource or taonga, to initially engage the students to think about their own water use. The students then thought about the part that water plays in their environment and how precious it is to survival.
“Following the session, we leave a resource containing activities and information on how to identify and minimise water wastage with the school, this allows students to learn more with their classmates and use it to complete water conservation action projects,” Mrs Thomas said.
The interactive session was in support of students learning about their community through the Junior Neighbourhood Support programme.
Horowhenua Junior Neighbourhood Support development coordinator Wendy Foreman says the programme is currently active in four Horowhenua schools and has seen students really engage with their community.
“The Junior Neighbourhood Support programme aims to promote a sense of pride, safety and community spirit, and you really see that pride when a child comes up to you on the street and tells you all that they’ve been learning and sharing with their own friends and families,” Mrs Foreman said.
Horizons emergency management officer Ross Brannigan works with the programme and said that the speakers usually cover topics relating directly to Civil Defence, but an opportunity was seen to involve environmental education.
“In this case the crossover for environmental education into Civil Defence is really important as it gets the children to think about where water comes from and how they would use it differently in an emergency,” Mr Brannigan said.
Students will complete their portfolios using information learned from all the speakers and the portfolios will be judged in October by Horowhenua Junior Neighbourhood Support and all of the speakers involved in the programme.
Fairfield School teacher Dayle Harpur said that the programme has resulted in excellent engagement from students.
“Utilising local resources to educate the children on matters that affect themselves and those around them has meant the students have really engaged with the community and seen themselves as part of the future of their communities,” says Mrs Harpur.