Local enviro kindy awarded Auckland Airport staff grant

Auckland Airport staff member and kindy parent, Michael Side, and his daugther presenting the grant to the kindy teachers

Pakuranga Baptist Kindergarten has been awarded a $1,000 grant by Auckland Airport’s staff grant scheme.

“We feel blessed to have been awarded this grant” says Kindy kaiwhakahaere, Jacqui Lees. “We are thinking of using it towards installing water tanks to harvest the rainwater from our roof to use for watering plants and water play at kindy.”

The kindergarten were nominated by kindy parent Michael Side “so you can continue your hard work in teaching the next generation of Aucklanders about the treasures to be found in our local environment, and how we can protect and add to these treasures.” The nomination included information about the kindy’s tireless efforts as an Enviroschools member.

Being an Enviroschool means the kindergarten are conscious of the environment in all they do. “We look after our gardens and the worm farm together. We work together composting our food scraps, recycling where we can, and bringing waste-free lunches. We learn about the insects, birds, fish and animals that live in our local area. We run our Outdoor Explorers sessions so children can learn in an outdoor classroom”.

Research shows that adults with a strong connection to nature usually had experiences in nature as children.  Richard Louv (2005) suggests that early nature experiences are essential if we are to produce future thinkers and change agents.

Each year Auckland Airport ask their staff to nominate which causes they’d like the airport to support, and award 30 grants of $1,000 to groups doing great work in communities across Auckland. “We’re thrilled to support groups across the city that are dear to the hearts of our staff members, groups that we may not otherwise hear about. Our people want to work for a company that does its bit in our local communities and this is a way for them to be a part of that” says Helen James, Auckland Airport’s People and Capability Manager.

Pakuranga Baptist Kindergarten is a community-based kindergarten offering mixed-age session to 2-5 year olds. Each day children create, play and discover in their beautiful and inspiring kindergarten environment, where nurturing teachers guide them to make their own discoveries. They offer a range of activities to appeal to their mixed-age group, incorporating natural materials and outdoor experiences as much as possible.