No matter where you are in the world, playtime at nursery school sounds the same – delighted shrieking and shouting erupts from tiny voices as soon as the kids are let free.
There is no difference here at Wildlife Works’ on-site nursery school, except that recently the chorus has been extra loud (if that’s possible!) because the school has just had a makeover.
Wildlife Works nursery school on site in Kenya
Since January 2012, Wildlife Works has provided a nursery school free of charge for our employee’s children aged 2-5 at our Kasigau Corridor REDD+ Project in Kenya. This helps kids get an early start in their education and provides free, safe childcare. It is on site within the boundary of our eco-factory and therefore very close to where many of the students’ parents work, giving them peace of mind that their kids are safely looked after while they work. As the nursery teacher Monica Nchekei says, “the nursery eases the burden for parents, and they now don’t worry about kids being at home while they work.”
We recently revamped the classroom space to increase teaching aids and improve the learning environment for the 38 kids currently attending the nursery. The improvements included planting a garden plot for the kids to tend, bringing in more teaching aids such as posters and books, new playtime toys, and general classroom improvements such as pegs to hang up school bags, new chairs, new easels made in our on-site workshop and new naptime mattresses with covers made in our eco-factory.
Student watering bean seedlings in the new nursery plot before class starts in the morning
Along with the makeover of the space, we also ran a series of art projects with the kids, including painting a beautiful mural on the classroom wall of a tree made out of the students’ tiny handprints, all part of helping to instill a love and appreciation of nature.
Students proudly showing off their handprint tree mural in the classroom
Nursery students happily doing an art project of crafting their faces out of paper plates
Teacher Monica comments, “The new materials have been so helpful. The new teaching aids in particular have improved the learning of the kids.” You could see the pure joy in the children’s faces when new things were unwrapped and passed around, whether it was art supplies, mini watering cans or seeing bubbles for the first time.
The delighted kids show off their new playtime toys
As with most other community events and projects, this school is made possible through working with the community to protect our environment from degradation and deforestation and the sale of carbon credits.