Coastal Taranaki School year 5 and 6 pupils with rubbish collected from William Corbett Reserve as part of the Healthier Kids Sea Cleaners school programme.
A group of Taranaki school children have been getting their hands dirty cleaning up rubbish others have thrown away at a public reserve in Okato.
The group of 28 Coastal Taranaki School Year 5 and 6 pupils are among pupils from seven Taranaki schools signed up for the nationwide Healthier Kids Sea Cleaners programme, which teaches children how to keep the ocean rubbish-free.
Coastal teacher Karla Jorgensen, who co-ordinated the clean-up, said conservation and kaitiakitanga/guardianship were at the forefront of environmental learning at the school.
“The year 5-6 classes have been carrying out an inquiry into keeping New Zealand beautiful and exploring actions to enact and encourage guardianship and caring of our precious land,” she said.
Jorgensen said the programme provided a valuable learning process to help students identify and understand environmental issues locally, nationally and globally.
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“The students have been thoroughly engaged in all the programme’s tasks leading up to our dedicated clean-up day at the William Corbett Reserve in Okato.
“The programme complements our in-classroom lesson content, which helps students understand the challenges and direct actions they can take to help keep oceans rubbish free, now and into the future.”
The Nestle New Zealand-sponsored programme gives schools tools and resources to help kids understand the impact of litter.
In a statement, Sea Cleaners chief executive Hayden Smith said motivating the next generation into conservation action helped engage and educate young people to collectively work to preserve waterways for the benefit of the marine life and enjoyment of all users for generations to come.
The programme aims to educate a new generation of young Kiwis how they can have a positive impact on the planet, while helping to tackle the rubbish problem currently plaguing waterways, Smith said.
It included content developed by School Kit working with science, social science and arts subjects.
The free clean-up kits are made from 100 per cent reusable and recyclable materials, including paper collection bags, cotton gloves, and guides to help students correctly sort the rubbish.
Five hundred clean-up kits have been distributed to 16,000 students nationwide this year.