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
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.”