Henderson Rotary’s Satellite Club Rotalite West teamed up with New Lynn Rotary for a great hands on project at Avondale Primary School in May and June 2019.

Avondale Primary School is a low decile school located in central Avondale. The school’s new Principal Robert Clark started at the school in late 2018 and was surprised that a large number of children didn’t know much about fruit and vegetables (also evidenced by the unhealthy lunch choices that were being made). A survey of 50 children showed that the top performer could only identify five vegetables from a long list, and 27 out of 50 identified a picture of a carrot as an orange (based on the colour).

These results led Robert to start researching joining the Garden To Table programme.

The Garden to Table programme is changing the way children approach and think about food. All around the country, we want to see children enthusiastically getting their hands dirty and learning how to grow, harvest, prepare and share fresh, seasonal food.

Established in 2008, Garden to Table now works with thousands of primary-school-aged children all across New Zealand, helping them discover a love for fresh food and skills that will last a lifetime. The programme is curriculum-integrated and provides real-world learning opportunities, taking learning outside the classroom.

In order for Avondale Primary to join the programme they needed to install a number of raised garden beds. That’s where Henderson Rotary, Rotalite and New Lynn Rotary came in. Both clubs donated funds which were matched by funds from The Rotary Foundation. We then set about a major project demolishing an old unsafe playground and part of a retaining wall, laying metal and building the raised gardens. Also to be installed are two shade sails, a planting/propagating table. We’ve converted the old jungle gym to a shade house where the school intends to raise their seedlings and potentially grow native plants which can be planted in environmental projects around the West Auckland area.

This was a great example of two Rotary Clubs working together, partnering with the beneficiary of the project (Avondale Primary).

Special thanks to Sese from SS Civil and Drainage Ltd and his staff for their help with this project.

Henderson Rotary and Rotalite are looking for more hands on projects like this one – so if you know of something, please let us know!