Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Garden to Table, Rabobank grow Deep Pockets

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New resource teaches schoolkids about making money.
Garden to Table kids, from left, Bertie, Seb, Zac, Frankie and Nellie, explore the newly released financial literacy resource with Garden to Table curriculum and community relationships manager Victoria Bernard.
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Cooking and gardening will soon play a part in teaching New Zealand schoolchildren money management skills.

A new resource, Deep Pockets, Hōhonu te Pūkoro, has been developed by Rabobank and food education charity Garden to Table.

It provides a 10-lesson teaching unit that helps students build their financial literacy skills by undertaking everyday garden and cooking activities. 

It will be available to all primary, intermediate and secondary pupils.

Rabobank New Zealand CEO Todd Charteris said the resource gives students the chance to handle real money and to make a real product to sell at a profit.

“The students get to make the financial decisions along the way and decide what to do with the profit they make,” he said.

“By the end of the unit, students will be able to complete a product plan, understand how borrowing and investing money works, use financial terms and vocabulary and know what they mean, make and sell a product – including marketing and advertising, and write a basic financial report.”

Charteris said the initiative stemmed from discussions about the ongoing development of the Garden to Table programme.

“Earlier in the year, Rabobank teamed up with Garden to Table to further develop and expand its programme empowering tamariki across Aotearoa New Zealand to grow, harvest, prepare, and share great food,” he said.

“As part of our discussions, we looked at what was currently being done to improve financial literacy among young Kiwis as both organisations believe that learning basic money management skills is incredibly important and that these skills can really help set up a young person for a successful future.

“We discovered a gap in hands-on learning resources to support knowledge development in this area and, as a result, we decided to create a new teaching resource that connects learning to grow and cook food with improved financial literacy.”

Garden to Table curriculum and community relations manager Victoria Bernard said the organisations worked together on the  new resource.

“The current cost-of-living crisis – and in particular the significant price lifts we’ve seen for many food items – has only reinforced our view that this type of resource is necessary,” she said.

Given the importance of the topic, Bernard said they were keen to offer the resource to all schools nationwide.

“Generally, these types of resources are only made available to schools participating in the Garden to Table programme, but both parties felt it was important to open up access to a wider audience,” she said.

Bernard said ideally schools will begin the teaching unit with a small start-up fund of less than $100.

“Students are initially asked to brainstorm ideas as to how they might convince someone to give them a start-up fund and to discuss who they might be able to borrow this from – whether it be the principal, Board of Trustees, a local business or someone else in their community – and how they might pay the money back,” she said.

The resource provides students with an opportunity to explore investment in an authentic way, she said.

“As they move through the various lessons, the students are given a lot of responsibility and the chance to take on roles like project manager, risk manager or marketing manager.”

For schools not currently part of the Garden to Table programme,  Bernard said, further information on the new teaching resource can be found on the Garden to Table website. 

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