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No waste policy earns Nelly grant

Carterton Kindergarten teacher Nelly Kendall-Carpenter in front of the recycled bottle lid mural the kindergarten built at the end of last year. PHOTO/ELI HILL

ELI HILL

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A kindergarten teacher with a passion for turning waste into wonders has received a scholarship to go towards her research.

Carterton Kindergarten teacher, Nelly Kendall-Carpenter was one of four teachers to receive New Zealand Education Institute early childhood education scholarships. The scholarship of $6000 will enable her to travel to the REMIDA Centre in Reggio Amelia, Italy next year as part of a 10-day study tour.

Kendall-Carpenter had been to the centre on a similar study tour last year and described it as a warehouse full of recycled things that can be used by children and centres – “kind of similar to a supermarket really”.

“You might get everyone from a builder donating offcuts they can’t use to members of the local community dropping off fabrics. The kids pick them up and can use them for projects.

“There’s a real focus on the environment of it as well, there’s plenty of light and colour.”

Nelly Kendall-Carpenter’s aim in going over is to investigate how the centre was set up and look at setting up a similar centre for Wairarapa’s kindergartens.

“It’s about bringing things back and adapting them to New Zealand, in the end it might be a centre, or it might look like something else.

“I was thrilled to get it and I hope I can do it justice.”

She has begun her studying work ahead of the tour and has made contact with a similar centre in Perth, Australia.

Carterton Kindergarten kids have already been experiencing what’s known as the “Reggio Philosophy”.

Among the projects they’ve done was a bottle cap mural of Wairarapa landscape, created with the help of a local artist who came in once a week.

“They’re learning all the time about being kaitiaki [guardians], and our resources and how to look after the planet.

“We’re teaching them to see value in things – teaching them to think that a bottle top can become something new.”

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