Te mātauranga whakauka taiao/Environmental Education and Climate Change Action
Environmental education has been the focus of Collectively Kids for over 10 years. Climate change and other environmental issues pose a challenge for our children's future. The aim of this policy is to provide a framework for meaningful action within our immediate and wider community.
The principles of this community are:
Care for the self
Care for others
Care for our immediate and global environment
A commitment to Aotearoa’s bicultural heritage, particularly to supporting kaitiakitanga (guardianship of the environment)/looking after papatūānuku
Aims for our community are to continue to:
Develop skills, knowledge, habits and resilience that will help us to adapt to the effects of rapid environmental and social change
Reduce our carbon footprint by cutting our emissions and taking part in mitigation projects
Advocate for the reduction of emissions to ensure that global warming is limited to 1.5C and for a halt to environmental degradation
Address issues of social justice within the centre, in our community and globally
A focus on ensuring that the environmental challenges that face us inform curriculum, practices, systems, processes and planning at Collectively Kids
Features of our environment:
Doing what we can right here right now
Our focus is on changes we can make in our lives and actions we can take that represent larger global issues. For instance our focus on tidying areas is about leaving a space "nice" for others - something we are failing to do on a global scale. Looking after our resources, many of which have a long and interesting history, considering "need" rather than "want" and ethical options when purchasing items is about resisting consumerism (the main driver of climate change). This is particularly important for children as they are often the targets of advertising. While our actions have no impact on global emissions they demonstrate a willingness to live differently.
Relationships and social justice
People have opportunities to help each other in genuine ways (for example within tuakana/teina relationships). The centre supports social justice through inclusive practices, support of vulnerable members of our immediate community, involvement in advocacy, and donations.
Active and engaged citizenship
Active citizenship is the key to bringing about change, For our community, including children, this involves taking part in mitigation and emissions reduction projects (collecting rubbish, planting trees), advocacy (writing letters, asking questions, making banners and going on marches), being informed (reading, going to lectures, expert visitors at the centre), civics education (learning about and engaging with government, elections, council, local boards). Sharing this information with families (through discussion and documentation) and with the wider community (visitors to the centre, presentations) is also an important part of our work.