Pupils make their mark at mar­ket

The Tribune (NZ) - - NEWS - RICHARD MAYS

Worm wees and sweet wil­liam, cal­en­dula, cos let­tuce, radishes and rain­bow beet are hardly tra­di­tional break­fast fare. But that’s ex­actly what a group of se­nior pupils at Som­er­set Cres­cent School have been serv­ing up at break­fast time dur­ing a cou­ple of re­cent Sun­day morn­ing mar­kets.

A stu­dent-driven healthy eat­ing cam­paign at the school has seen stu­dents sell­ing school-grown prod­ucts at the Clover­lea Mar­ket.

Worm wees, or more po­litely, worm tea, is bril­liant for in­creas­ing the num­bers of ben­e­fi­cial soil mi­crobes which in turn, pro­mote gar­den growth. Teacher Robyn Clarke says the bot­tled liq­uid from the worm-farms be­hind the care­taker’s shed, is one of the byprod­ucts of a holis­tic food pro­gramme that is part of the school’s in­volve­ment in a na­tional 5+ A Day chal­lenge.

So are the fresh vegetable and flower seedlings from the school’s raised gar­dens.

Dur­ing this term, the 83 mem­bers of Som­er­set’s Team Kahikatea have been in­volved in a project which has seen a group of ‘nu­tri­tional nin­jas’ re­spon­si­ble for chang­ing the school’s nu­tri­tional poli­cies. This has in­volved li­ais­ing with lo­cal shops over the con­tents of school lunches, as well as run­ning fundrais­ing ven­tures from their healthy liv­ing spinoffs.

‘‘It’s a year-long ven­ture. We’ve been get­ting the chil­dren to think about healthy liv­ing and healthy lifestyles and about the food choices they make,’’ Robyn says. ‘‘Hope­fully they then take that mes­sage back home to their whanau.’’

The project has fo­cused on out-of-the-class­room learn­ing. This has not just been con­fined to school gar­den ac­tiv­ity, where flower seedlings have been pro­duced with Moth­ers Day, May 8, in mind; or to the morn­ing mar­ket ex­pe­di­tions where along with sell­ing their pro­duce, the chil­dren were also raf­fling off a do­nated planter box.

‘‘They’ve had two vis­its from a nu­tri­tion­ist and a prac­ti­cal la­bel-read­ing ses­sion at Pi­o­neer New World su­per­mar­ket.’’

PHOTO: MUR­RAY WIL­SON/FAIRFAX NZ

Peter Ai­iloilo (9), Alavi Maka­tia (9), Kobe Sullivan (9) and Har­lem Gra­ham (10), year 5-6 pupils from Som­er­set Cres­cent School pre­par­ing their 5+ A Day mar­ket stall for the Sun­day morn­ing Clover­lea Mar­ket.

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