Theft leaves a sour taste
A lesson in the virtues of patience has not paid off entirely for 45 Mt Albert preschoolers.
Little Scholars’ three and fouryear-olds were waiting for their strawberries to ripen when the whole plant was ripped out of the garden.
Centre manger Emma Norrie says when the children arrived for the day, ready to taste the fruits of their labour, their excitement turned to dismay.
“They noticed straight away that the plant was missing and were pretty upset so we talked to them about how others would grow and looked at what else we could eat,” Ms Norrie says.
“They were especially annoyed because they wanted to pick the strawberries themselves even though they weren’t quite ready. We were trying to teach them that the redder the strawberry, the sweeter it is.”
Since October the early childhood centre, with the help of a parent, began to grow their own vegetables in small gardens plotted around the centre.
As well as planting lettuce, peas, beans and rockmelons, a strawberry patch was put into a planter box located be- side the road boundary fence. “We’ve received a Healthy Heart Award from the Heart Foundation and our parents took up the challenge to show the kids how to grow your own vegetables. They’ve even made their own salads too.”
The Healthy Heart programme encourages early childhood cen- tres to promote healthy eating and active movement by providing staff with information, planning tools and curriculum guides.
Ms Norrie says the children quickly accepted that someone else really wanted to eat their delicious strawberries and are now concentrating on eating the next ripe bunch.
Stolen strawberry: Little Scholars manager Emma Norrie with pupils, from left: Charlotte Kempster, Ankit Kakanoor and Timothy Hidalgo wait patiently for their strawberries to ripen after the original plant was stolen.