Enviroschools funding cut

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13 years 1 month ago #275288 by Xartep
Replied by Xartep on topic Enviroschools funding cut
I encountered this story many years ago while studying.

The Starfish Story


adapted from The Star Thrower http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=muttcatscom&l=as2&o=1&a=0156849097 by Loren Eiseley (1907 - 1977)
Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work.

One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up.

As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean.

He came closer still and called out "Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?"

The young man paused, looked up, and replied "Throwing starfish into the ocean."

"I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?" asked the somewhat startled wise man.

To this, the young man replied, "The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them in, they'll die."

Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, "But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can't possibly make a difference!"

At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said, "It made a difference for that one."

It is all very well to say "how much is really recycled any way" but if commitment isn't shown by the community the governing bodies will slowly phase it out rather than ramp it up. It is our responsibility as thinking individuals to excerise our power by changing how things are done. Being cynical and negative does not help. Getting out there and pushing for improvements does.

3 Cocker Spaniels, 1 Huntaway, 3 Cats, Goats, Sheep, Pigs, Cows, Ducks, Chickens, Bunnies - small petting zoo?:rolleyes::cool:

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13 years 1 month ago #275329 by reggit
Replied by reggit on topic Enviroschools funding cut
Nice, Xartep :D

The info I posted is there for those who wish to make a submission on it anyway. See you in other threads [;)]

Take a break...while I take care of your home, your block, your pets, your stock! [;)] PM me...

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13 years 1 month ago #275362 by Simkin
Replied by Simkin on topic Enviroschools funding cut
Xartep - that's exactly what it is all about :) Making a difference - no matter whether it is for one individual or for a whole nation.

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13 years 1 month ago #275464 by Ronney
Replied by Ronney on topic Enviroschools funding cut
Making a difference - yes, but did the young man stop to think what sort of difference he was making? Did he wonder why starfish were left high and dry on the beach, did he wonder what would happen if he had been able to throw the lot back into the sea? Did he stop to think that this might have been the fine balance of nature that stopped the overcrowding of starfish in the sea and kept them at a sustainable level, in good health and ensured their continuity. I doubt it because human beings, despite their so-called civilisation, education etc. still cannot see any further than the end of their own noses.

That isn't being cynical (or maybe it is) but it is also being realistic. We have over populated the world to a point where it is almost unable to sustain us. We need more land for housing, more land for food production, more land for infrastructure which also include landfills and septic waste. As a result we are constantly finding new ways to produce more cheaper. Directly, and indirectly, the human being would be the biggest waste producer of any living creature and yet we continue to multipy like flies because nobody wants to address the real problem - which is that we continue to multiply like flies. We are fast approaching a time when we will end up like the starfish the young man was so keen to throw back.

The perception that throwing money at the problem is a fallacy. Recylcling at ground level i.e the home or school has limitations and in the broader field, recylcling usually uses energy. There are only so many uses for plastics before they break down and end up at the landfill, there is only so much compost the world can take before it is overloaded because we're still producing more than would naturally occur and what exactly is biodegradable besides being a nice word that makes people feel good. Whatever it is, it still breaks down and goes back into the environment to overload it.

So yes, count me as a cynic along with Oscar Wilde (I think it was him) who said that man was hell bent on his own destruction.

Cheers,
Ronnie

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13 years 1 month ago #275514 by Toni - Northland
Replied by Toni - Northland on topic Enviroschools funding cut

tigger;255838 wrote: Nice, Xartep :D

The info I posted is there for those who wish to make a submission on it anyway. See you in other threads [;)]


You bailing out of this one????????[:0]

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13 years 1 month ago #275534 by DiDi
Replied by DiDi on topic Enviroschools funding cut
I return to my last post and point this out:

REAL question - how much and what recycleables are actually usefully recycled here in New Zealand and are NOT sent to the other side of the world for some poor people to work in stinking unhygenic conditions to "recycle"?

I have recently been told, correctly or not, that the only items recycled in New Zealand is Newspaper.

Here's another question: Why was the garbage truck that tipped over travelling from Tauranga to Hampton Downs (North Waikato) to dump rubblish? Now that sounds like good energy planning. NOT!!!!

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13 years 1 month ago #275542 by Xartep
Replied by Xartep on topic Enviroschools funding cut
I suspect that it not even that much in some areas DiDi,[:0] but at least newspaper can be composted. :)
Just because it has no current recycling use it doesn't mean that we shouldn't continue to separate our rubbish and to compost ourselves. At the moment alot of that stuff is stock piled, for future demand. [^]
When you toss it in the rubbish bags for collection, it is straight onto the truck and off to the landfill. [}:)]
You are right rubbish is being trucked long distances to landfills and the resource consents are running out. Then where will it all go?
I too grew up in a household where we weren't allowed lights on in unused rooms, and we composted as much as possible, and recycled glass bottles. But this wasn't because we were hippies, it was because it made good economic common sense. Lower power bills, food for the vege garden, money for coke bottles. Maybe a bit of a recession isn't a bad thing, time to get back to basics...[;)]

3 Cocker Spaniels, 1 Huntaway, 3 Cats, Goats, Sheep, Pigs, Cows, Ducks, Chickens, Bunnies - small petting zoo?:rolleyes::cool:

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13 years 1 month ago #275545 by OakhengeFarm
I have a couple of points on this issue.

First - in relation to my planting trees issue. I was contacted to see if I would like one of the local primary schools to come out and do some native tree planting as part of their Enviroschools programme. I initially agreed, but then found out that they were expecting to be paid as it was actually just a fundraising exercise. I would rather pay my own kids 50c per tree than some primary school.

Second - our local Environment Centre has a contract with Govt to get some of this money. Last time I went to a course there, our lunch had to be bought in (mid-summer) because of the 2 acres of organic gardens, there was nothing edible! I know this is an ongoing situation, because I have a friend who runs an organic farm, and she supplies salad veges for their courses. This place does not practice what it preaches, is on town water and sewerage, does not collect rainwater or generate any electricity, and failed its last organic certification inspection. I can only assume that they are running the Enviroschools programme at the primary school mentioned above.

If these people are an example of the people getting the funding, sorry, but I am glad they have had their funding cut! In theory, the programme sounds good, but what are the kids actually being taught, and by whom?

11 acres (4 in QEII Covenanted native bush), 15 sheep, 2 beefies, large vege gardens and a goat, and still no dog!:(

Oh, and uncountable wild birds - including fantails, swallows, yellowhammers, morepork, magpies, hawks, pukekos, and even quaill, pheasants and rainbow lorikeets [:D][:D] Not to mention possums, hares, rabbits, rats...

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13 years 1 month ago #275623 by max2
Replied by max2 on topic Enviroschools funding cut
I asked E tonight if she had heard of the programme as I hadn't with our local school, and her reply was L.... did that when she was doing ''other'' stuff at school because that was her interest at home.

Now that L has left, the school/education isn't going down that track..

So I wonder who were the schools receiving the benefit of the funding, and if its limited to a certain 'few' in the education sector.... then questions must be asked why it isn't including all of the education sector regardless of public or private involvement?

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13 years 1 month ago #275689 by Xartep
Replied by Xartep on topic Enviroschools funding cut
I've copied this from the website, as I think the thread got distracted by other concerns.
I see this working at our school and am impressed, maybe we have a really good teacher coordinator and a really good facilitator, maybe the program actually works...

Benefits of enviroschools


The Enviroschools approach integrates environmental education into the whole of school life and creates learning opportunities by working towards a healthy, peaceful and sustainable environment. This approach produces a range of benefits for schools and their communities.
Educational...
  • An integrated approach means the curriculum is richer and more interesting for students. The action oriented approach and real life projects engage and motivate a diverse range of students.
  • Students learn essential life skills. The projects undertaken by enviroschools provide students with opportunities to learn about problem solving, decision-making, how to make take action and make change happen.
  • Teachers are supported with a wide range of learning resources e.g. school grounds can become a "living classroom". They are encouraged to learn new skills and to explore new ways of working with students. Local, regional and national Enviroschools events are an opportunity to share knowledge and ideas.
  • Units of work are cumulative so students build understanding and skills over time.
Environmental...
  • Significant reductions in waste to landfill, energy and water use are being achieved by enviroschools.
  • Action projects undertaken by schools are resulting in enhanced biodiversity and protected, healthy waterways.
  • Most enviroschools tackle projects to improve their school's physical surroundings e.g. gardens, murals, and sculptures. Schools have found as a result students have a greater sense of place and appreciation of their school and local area.
  • Some schools are starting to address the health of school buildings, so ecological design directly benefits the physical and mental health of students.
  • Enviroschools have found that environmentally friendly practices "go home" with students and change parents' behaviour.
Social and community...
  • The Enviroschools approach builds improved relationships between staff and students. It involves all staff and students taking collective and individual responsibility for the school.
  • Schools report positive learning environments as a result of reduced bullying and anti-social behaviour.
  • The programme provides a focal point for greater community involvement with their local school.
  • Enviroschools is developing a nationwide network of sustainably minded people who share and learn together
Economic...
  • Financial savings for schools from more efficient practices such as reducing the amount of waste that is sent to landfill.
  • Students are setting up entrepreneurial enterprises to sell environmental products such as seedlings they have grown or liquid fertiliser from the school worm bins.
  • Enviroschools provides a focal point for links between schools and businesses, e.g. working on a joint environmental project.
  • As part of green purchasing schools are showing increased interest in locally made sustainable products.

3 Cocker Spaniels, 1 Huntaway, 3 Cats, Goats, Sheep, Pigs, Cows, Ducks, Chickens, Bunnies - small petting zoo?:rolleyes::cool:

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13 years 1 month ago #275813 by max2
Replied by max2 on topic Enviroschools funding cut
Sounds good, but also sounds a lot like a programme being run through our school previously just by someone practicing what she preached in her home life and yes E certainly enjoyed it.

But to come back to the original gist, should we the great public with schoolies, feel the Govt is wrong in dropping funding for an organisation to present this learning module to some schools?

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13 years 1 month ago #275819 by Xartep
Replied by Xartep on topic Enviroschools funding cut
I am fairly sure that it is available to all schools that choose to pick up the program.

Some of the learning objectives and skills taught are impressive.

Looks a bit like the Rudolph Stiener cum Montesorri principals though, so some may not approve.

All I know is my 7 year old is thinking out side the norm and came home talking about things like mind maps ! What?! I learnt about them in my early 30's :D

3 Cocker Spaniels, 1 Huntaway, 3 Cats, Goats, Sheep, Pigs, Cows, Ducks, Chickens, Bunnies - small petting zoo?:rolleyes::cool:

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13 years 1 month ago #275820 by Xartep
Replied by Xartep on topic Enviroschools funding cut
I also live in an area where we many go off grid to get reliable power, and away from telecom to get broadband, a fairly self sufficient and interesting cross section around here for sure.

3 Cocker Spaniels, 1 Huntaway, 3 Cats, Goats, Sheep, Pigs, Cows, Ducks, Chickens, Bunnies - small petting zoo?:rolleyes::cool:

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13 years 1 month ago #275826 by reggit
Replied by reggit on topic Enviroschools funding cut

Xartep;256352 wrote: I am fairly sure that it is available to all schools that choose to pick up the program.


It's currently available to all schools regardless of whether they are private or public, high or low decile, urban or rural...as long as they are interested in taking part.

And as I said before, and Xartep has emphasised, even if environmental issues don't light your candle, the skills the kids learn through this programme are important life skills that are unlikely to be taught in other parts of the curriculum.

Yes, it would be nice if they learnt this sort of stuff from their parents and there was no gap for this sort of programme to fill, but from what I have seen, it is more the parents who learn from their kids taking their skills and knowledge home :rolleyes:

And yes, they also pick up numeracy and literacy skills along the way as part of the stuff they do, building on the 3Rs that everyone hopes they are being taught as part of their basic schooling.

PS for those who commented that it sounded like people protecting their jobs...as far as I know no jobs will be lost...but the funding cut will severely curtail the ability of Enviroschools to reach as many schools as want to take part. Even with the national funding to add to the other funding it received from other sources, it was struggling to meet demand. So yes, from this point onwards, it is likely to be very limited as to what it can offer and which schools it can offer it to.

And no, I don't work for them [;)]

Take a break...while I take care of your home, your block, your pets, your stock! [;)] PM me...

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13 years 1 month ago #275842 by Xartep
Replied by Xartep on topic Enviroschools funding cut

swaggie;256346 wrote: Sounds good, but also sounds a lot like a programme being run through our school previously just by someone practicing what she preached in her home life

As with any subject it helps if the teacher is passionate about what they are teaching, else how are they going to connect with the kids?

3 Cocker Spaniels, 1 Huntaway, 3 Cats, Goats, Sheep, Pigs, Cows, Ducks, Chickens, Bunnies - small petting zoo?:rolleyes::cool:

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