Coledale Public School has taken out the ‘Best Overall School’ Award at Wollongong City Council’s 32nd Annual Rise and Shine Awards.
The school has been recognised for their Sustainable Environmental Management Plan, which includes everyday activities including the Living Classroom and Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program.
Under the guidance of support teacher Joanne Chilton, the students have created a gorgeous, thriving vegetable garden. They use the produce as part of their three-a-term cooking classes. The rest they sell to parents and to Earth Walker Cafe in Coledale, which ensures the garden is truly sustainable.
The plan aims to develop student’s academic, social and practical skills through kitchen and garden lessons.
Rise and Shine winners have been presented at a function earlier this week, with Lord Mayor Councillor Gordon Bradbury saying the award recognises outstanding leadership in sustainability and environmental initiatives.
“I love gardening,” says Joanne, “and I love seeing the kids have such fun in the garden. They have learned so much many have started their own vegie gardens at home and can now recognise what needs to be done in our garden here.”
The Living Classroom and Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program sees students, staff, parents and the community work together in a spirit of mutual respect for their environment to reduce their ecological footprint.
And it’s not complete yet! Council says Coledale Public School is further developing their vegetable garden, frog pond, waste and water reduction actions and establishing a new sustainable native garden.
Congratulations too to Helensburgh Public School, which also collected a Rise and Shine award. They’ve taken out ‘Best Ongoing Environmental Initiatives’ !
The Rise and Shine Award’s individual winners include Carol Nance of Bellambi, who removes weeds from the Bellambi sand dunes, replacing them with native species, and Dave Williamson (Scooter Dave), who gets up at 4am every morning to do a 10km round trip on his mobility scooter, picking up rubbish on Winding Bridge and around the foreshore and wharves, also collecting rubbish, around Reddall Parade Kiosk and Reserve.