Maeroa students are empowered to make a difference!

Earning green koru’s for their school shirt sleeve has proved successful in motivating students to undertake environmental action at Maeroa Intermediate.  Enviro leaders shared their new innovations with teachers from Waikato Enviroschools at a cluster meeting their school hosted in Week 5.  Not only did these remarkable students welcome visitors, present their actions and host a tour of the school, but they took time after school to do it!

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Maeroa Intermediate has a long running reward system called Koru Awards, set up to encourage achievement.  The students at Maeroa have been able to gain coloured flash which can be sewn onto their uniform sleeves to show special commitment to cultural, sporting, academic, service and virtues arenas, demonstrated by five different colours. The Enviro Leaders had wanted to increase involvement of students in engaging with environmental actions, so created a proposal to include a green koru for environmental focused actions that all students could take part in.  Just a few of the actions students have taken part in include picking up litter around the school, having waste-free lunches and planting natives trees and other student lead initiatives. Teachers sign off the actions, and once the have completed a 10 actions, they receive a green flash for their school shirt.  The receive a special koru badge once the have achieved another level of achievement.

The Enviro koru was first discussed by student leaders at the end of 2017 and they then spent 2018 discussing the idea the Principal  and developing how it would work.  It was implemented on the 1st of September in Term 3 and within 2 weeks students and staff noticed the change in the school as students spent their lunch times picking up litter to earn a green flash for their uniform.

The student have also also been hard at work creating bricks from recycled paper, growing vegetables for the food technology class, composting and worm-farming, establishing a fruit orchard and feijoa hedge and planting native trees. Students from Yubin Han’s class have also created a short film called A Difference for the The Outlook for Someday sustainability film competition which has just been announced as one of the 20 finalists!

It was fantastic to see such strong, student-led actions that are creating positive changes at Maeroa.

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