Service of the Year award for Morwell
Goodstart Morwell has won Victoria’s coveted Early Childhood Service of the Year award for demonstrating environmental sustainability was enshrined in its practices, thanks to its educators, children and families.
An initiative of the Victorian Government, 2016 ResourceSmart School Awards are the state’s largest sustainability awards program. The awards celebrate the achievements of schools and early childhood services.
Morwell centre director Kate Wojciechowski said everyday sustainable practice at the centre involved creating an environment where everyone had responsibility.
“Our vegetable and herb garden which was recently re-planted thanks to our local Bunnings is tended to by our children,” Ms Wojciechowski said.
“Our pre-kindergarten children ensure the vegetable garden has adequate water and is harvested, while our kindergarten children oversee the health of the worm farm.
“Kindergarten children water and feed the worm farm and bottle worm juice, making the bottles available for families to use within their own vegetable gardens.”
Sustainable practice at the centre has created opportunities for educators to engage children in hands-on learning to deepen their knowledge about gardening, recycling and food and nutrition.
“Children are involved in the inquiry process of growing celery and carrots from food scraps as well as investigating and learning about the recycling process, from recycling used paper to making new paper,” she said.
She said children loved getting hands-on with the centre’s sustainable practice.
“Some of the children have their own family garden and farms, but for others it’s the first time getting their hands dirty in a garden and for most children it’s a unique experience to make their own paper.”
The centre has reached out to families and the local community to help its sustainable efforts.
“We have a designated area set up where families are encouraged to donate egg cartons, boxes and any recyclable materials that can be used within the kindergarten room,” she said.
“We have wonderful local community connections and recently organised an incursion, inviting the local Paper Mill, Australia Paper, to teach the kindergarten children about the paper making process.”
The centre’s cook, who is looking to introduce the centre’s vegetable and herbs into the daily nutritional menu for children, gathers food scraps for families to collect use within their farms to feed their children.
To view some of the sustainable practices, check out this video featuring children from Goodstart Morwell: https://youtu.be/qiovTojQcko