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Teacher a Finalist For the Green Ribbon Environmental Awards

Press release    5th May 2012

Early Childhood Teacher a Finalist For the Green Ribbon Environmental Awards

Environment Minister Amy Adams has announced the finalists for the annual Green Ribbon Awards, which honour outstanding contributions to protecting New Zealand's environment.

“The variety of organisations, individuals and projects in this year’s nominations demonstrate the diversity of environmental initiatives around New Zealand and the benefits they bring to our country,” Ms Adams says.

The finalists will attend an awards ceremony at Parliament on June 5, which is World Environment Day. Winners will be announced in each category, and then an overall supreme winner will be revealed.

Each nomination has been assessed by a panel of judges for significant environmental benefit, measurable and tangible results, innovation, awareness-raising and going the extra mile.

“All the finalists have shown great dedication and initiative. I am looking forward to meeting them and learning first-hand about the great work they are all doing to help New Zealand’s environment.”

There are 11 award categories and early childhood teacher Adam Buckingham, with his project “Turning Trash into Treasure for Young Children”, is a finalist in the communication and education category.

Adam Buckingham is an early childhood teacher and an author; he presents professional development workshops in New Zealand and overseas, forging links with like-minded people in other countries, on reusing solid waste materials - ideas on turning trash into treasure.

Adam has designed and made innovative equipment for young children from solid waste, using materials from the home environment and the wider world, to inspire and enrich young children’s learning through manipulating and exploring real world objects.

Children explore and manipulate real world objects with their senses, developing self-confidence and perseverance and promoting imaginative play.

Familiar objects from home and the wider world presented in a different context give children concrete experiences to explore and gain control of their bodies.

This project has diverted waste from landfill and linked people from the wider community to the early childhood environment, knowing that they are contributing their solid waste to be transformed into something useful.

A wider social benefit from this work has been the involvement of parents, and in particular it has encouraged a rapport with men.

Through helping to obtain resources or helping to make equipment, parents engage with early childhood centres.

Encouraging more men to become involved with young children through this work, results in a significant social impact. Involving fathers and father figures benefits their infants and children and therefore, the whole family.

Adam Buckingham has published a book "Turning trash into treasure for young children" which was made in New Zealand as a resource for educators, to support 'education for sustainable development' in early childhood and provides tools for teachers to engage fathers and men with early childhood centres. It encourages the involvement of the wider community.

The book also encourages children to connect with the natural world and to nurture skills and attitudes at an early age that promote the development of environmentally responsible adults.

This project is innovative in utilising solid waste materials for education purposes, transforming it into learning experiences to benefit young children's learning.

For more look at   www.trash2treasure.co.nz

ENDS

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