Children from Parkes have become the first in the state to experience a new-look outdoor Healthy Harold classroom, bringing health education to students in an innovative and exciting way.
(min cost $8)
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An agile alternative to the iconic Life Education van, the inflatable outdoor classroom is designed to be used in schools that can't accommodate a van or when a quick response is required.
It fits in the back of a purpose-built ute and inflates in a matter of minutes.
The outdoor inflatable classroom made its first appearance at Parkes East Public School last Tuesday, with Life Education NSW CEO Jonathon Peatfield, Life Education NSW Board Director and Parkes Shire Mayor Ken Keith OAM and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack present to watch the trial launch.
Life Education, along with well-known mascot Healthy Harold the giraffe, have been delivering health education to NSW school children for more than 40 years.
More than 15,000 children from 16 schools in the Parkes region have benefited from the program over the last 10 years.
Mr Peatfield said the new outdoor, pop-up classroom will help Life Education to reach more children, across vast distances, faster and in a COVID- safe way.
"Kids today are facing unprecedented challenges, with drought, bushfires and now COVID-19. Our mission - empowering our children and young people to make safer and healthier choices through education - has never been more important than it is now," Mr Peatfield said.
In 2018, Life Education launched the first version of the pop-up classroom, designed to be used indoors in school halls.
"While a step away from the traditional mode of delivery, the outdoor pop-up classroom still boasts much-loved features of the van including cutting-edge technology, touch screens and interactive lessons - and of course, Healthy Harold the giraffe," Mr Peatfield said.
Cr Keith has been a long-term supporter of Life Education and was delighted to see this new innovation in action.
"To see Life Education evolve in the shape of an outdoor classroom couldn't come at a better time and will ensure that students in our region continue to receive these important messages about a healthy lifestyle," he said.
"Life Education should be congratulated on their agile approach to advancing their outreach in our area."
Parkes East Public School principal Michael Ostler said the pop-up outdoor classroom has enabled his students to enjoy the 'Healthy Harold' experience in a COVID-safe manner.
"We were disappointed when Harold couldn't visit in the van earlier in the year (due to COVID -19) but jumped at the chance to be the first school in the state to utilise this outdoor option," he said.
"I see this being an important way of getting across the healthy lifestyle message while maintaining the Healthy Harold magic."
The new Life Education outdoor pop-up classroom has been funded by the NSW Government to ensure Healthy Harold continues to educate the next generation of young students.
For more information visit lifeeducation.org.au.
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