Monday, June 24, 2024

Little learners riding wave of sustainability


Some of Sydney’s littlest learners are riding the wave of sustainability, helping save unwanted surfboards destined for the tip and turning them into rad pieces of art. 

Children at Chantel’s Kindergarten in Sylvania in southern Sydney have been hanging 10 with south coast surfer and father, Mathew King, to give dozens of old boards a second life, while learning about sustainability and art. 

The group of 28 youngsters aged three to five spent the day recently adding their creative designs to donated boards from their local community, using special paint pens and a little creativity. 

The children also learned basic surfing skills and mindfulness activities, such as yoga and breath work.  

Kindergarten director, Erin Rapp said the children enjoyed participating in the workshop and connecting with real-world learning.

“It was an opportunity for the children to connect hands-on with the community through sustainable practices,” she said.

“It showcases the importance of reusing items and creating something new out of them.”

A man stretching with students.
Surfer Mathew King with students at the Kindergarten.

More than 400,000 surfboards are manufactured across the globe every year and most of them are destined for landfill, with no current way to recycle the non-biodegradable material.  

Mr King, the self-described ‘South Coast Kook’, is on a mission to rescue 300 surfboards from becoming waste and to date has saved 130 boards, through the help of young groms attending his workshops.  

“The process begins with collecting donated surfboards and fins from the local community and waste centres,” he said.

“Some are in excellent condition but seriously outdated, while others require work to ensure a safe surface for painting. 

 “The result is a collection of vibrant, one-of-a-kind artworks that breathe new life into discarded items and contribute to a more sustainable future.”  

The completed artworks are donated back to the services or raffled off to find a new home.  

A group of people with a painted surfboard.
Mr King and staff at the Kindergarten with one of the surfboards.

The NSW Department of Education is the largest regulator of early childhood education and care services nationally with more than 6,000 services in NSW that fall in scope of the National Quality Framework (NQF) and state legislation.

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