Hey guys, I’m Thea DePetris, and I’m the Education Co-ordinator for Kids Greening Taupo.
I first got involved with Kids Greening when I was working on my Masters Thesis in environmental education. When it came time for me to write my thesis I needed a research topic. It was a lucky opportunity that I was able to use the Kids Greening pilot project as my topic. When I first finished my thesis, there was an opportunity to continue my studies for a PhD based on this collaborative community education model- this whole idea of schools and community partners working together to achieve a shared environmental vision. But coincidentally, just as I handed in my thesis, the Kids Greening co-ordinator role became available. So this seemed like a perfect next step - to see if what I proposed through my research findings could work in reality.
As co-ordinator, I’m the person who organises everyone and everything. I help the teachers develop their schools’ restoration projects andtap into assistance and support from our partnering community organisations. I help the Student Leadership Team organise their collective projects and develop their skills. I help the Strategic Leadership Team make high-level decisions about how they can assure the support we need as an organisation is there. I hold the big picture and am sort of the glue between all the different people and organisations involved with Kids Greening. I try to help ensure that everyone is working to strength towards achieving our shared goals.
But my favourite thing about KGT is the young people. What excites me the most is being involved in the children’s lives and seeing real actual progress instead of just words on a piece of paper. I’ve seen Jack work on his journalism skills and Hannah gain experience with photo, video and web design. I love that the young people on the ground can embrace opportunities to get outside, plant trees, remove pest plants and kill predators! Our young people can do real stuff that makes our town a better place! Through Kids Greening, they’re not stuck in the four walls of a classroom- they can actually go out and make a difference.
So its young people making a difference, helping facilitate that, that’s what I love.