Crossmaglen Public School grows ideas in teaching sustainability

Students at Crossmaglen Public School with freshly picked produce from the school’s garden. The students will use the produce in their cooking as part of the ‘Kids in the Kitchen’ program.

IN a move to inspire educators around teaching sustainability in their own schools, Crossmaglen Public School is hosting an interactive tour of its educational program combining gardening, cooking and composting.

Crossmaglen’s ‘Kids in the Kitchen’ program is teaching students how to grow, harvest and cook with seasonal organic produce from the school’s abundant garden.

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The school’s teachers will be hosting the free tour of the garden, sharing stories and tips for other Coffs Coast teachers and educators to implement similar initiatives at their own schools.

Following the tour, local foraging and fermentation educator Gabriel Gutnik of Ziggy’s Wildfoods will talk about ways to reduce food waste with a hands-on fermentation workshop.

Gabriel will teach participants how to pickle their own vegetables to take home.

The overall aim is for participants to feel empowered to apply their new skills at their school or centre.

The tour and workshop are part of the Coffs Harbour Sustainable Schools Network (SSN) program.

“Local schools and early childhood centres are at the heart of sustainability in our community,” Network Coordinator Nathalie Poludniewski told News Of The Area.

“There is an abundance of inspiring initiatives and sustainability success stories in schools and centres around the Coffs Harbour region.

“These meetings held each term are an invaluable way to facilitate collaboration amongst a network of like-minded local educators.

“Our aim for this event is to inspire educators to think differently about reducing food waste and share how through gardening, composting and fermentation it can be inspiring, fun and delicious,” she said.

With abounding evidence that school gardens are a wonderful place of connection, Nathalie said, “Observing cycles of nature in real time, collaboratively tending to a garden and sharing the joys of an abundant harvest are all a source of inspiration which extends far beyond school grounds.

“They build ecological literacy by empowering children and their families with life-long skills and inspire them to develop a genuine appreciation for the natural world around them – the foundation to sustainability.”

The SSN is a collaboration between the City of Coffs Harbour, MidWaste and Sustainable Schools NSW.

The Network is open to teachers, early childhood educators and parents in the Coffs Harbour area who want to learn, share ideas and talk about projects and opportunities for environmental activities in their schools, centres and communities.

The SSN meets once a term to share ideas, learn and gain inspiration to incorporate sustainability into their teaching.

To find out more about the Coffs Harbour Sustainable Schools Network, email or register online to attend Crossmaglen Public School’s 11 June event.


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