Inequality and food literacyWe live in the 21st century, and we are starting to move our teaching practice and learning communities towards the 21st century too. However, the march of progress seen in our classrooms sometimes feels like a march away from the nearly 20% of New Zealanders living in poverty.
|Source: Statistics New Zealand|
|Y7 students showing off their carrots, grown in our school garden|
We also support students in financial hardship by paying for trips and events that they might not otherwise be able to access. I have paid for Science roadshow entries for students who could not afford it, and as a whanau we have found funds to send some students on school camp and OPC out of our budget.
Making students more food aware addresses another issue, that of food literacy and nutrition.
|"What's the green bit for miss?"|
There are lots of NGOs working in this field across New Zealand Aotearoa and abroad, but within our own learning community being able to show learners how food is grown, and giving them a space where they can grow their own food, is invaluable.
Watching my students pull carrots out of the ground, wash them and then tentatively take a bite before triumphantly proclaiming that they "taste just like carrots!" reinforces that we need to show children the value of getting their hands dirty and seeing where food comes from and how it can be made. By providing education, space to practice, and time to experiment, we can help reconnect our communities with the whenua and their food.