Healthy Harold and children from Brisbane’s Chapel Hill State School have helped commemorate 27 consecutive years of the innovative Life Education program being delivered at the school at a colourful celebration event.
Chapel Hill primary students joined the lovable mascot to share in an anniversary cake, concluding a two-week visit by the Life Education mobile classroom where children have learned about safe behaviours, cybersafety and the wonders of the human body.
Life Education CEO Michael Fawsitt said the charity’s long association with Chapel Hill State School – one of the longest in the state – was testament to the program’s impact and relevance.
“Generations of children have now accessed our program, and the knowledge they have gained from taking part in Life Education sessions with our experienced educators has given them skills and strategies to make good choices that equip them for life,” Mr Fawsitt said.
“As we mark 40 years of Life Education at the national level, it is significant that schools like Chapel Hill have journeyed with us for 27 years because they recognise the ongoing value of the programs we deliver and how they’ve adapted to meet challenges that children, teachers and parents face today.”
The largest provider of health education to Queensland children, Life Education has reached more than 1.5 million Queensland youngsters in 32 years – with its program focusing on health and wellbeing, cybersafety and healthy relationships, as well as vital education about the harms of smoking and drugs.
Chapel Hill Primary Year 1 student Grace Dunn said she loved it when Healthy Harold popped out from behind the curtain in the van, as well as learning about the five food groups.
“It’s important to eat healthy foods so you stay strong and don’t get sick,” Grace said.
Classmate Azria Mitchell said she had learned a lot about safety with medicines.
“I’ve learned that you shouldn’t open a bottle with a tricky lid on it because the contents could be poisonous,” Azria said.
And Year 5 student William Fowler said Life Education’s cybersafety module had taught him how to make better choices online.
“I’ve learned that you shouldn’t share your password with anyone and that you shouldn’t post a picture of a friend without asking them first because their image belongs to them,” William said.
Chapel Hill State School deputy principal Tal Mitchell said the Life Education program had enriched the lives of thousands of children in the school community over nearly three decades.
“I’ve not only had the experience of Life Education at Chapel Hill, but at other Queensland schools I’ve taught at. How the program connects with the curriculum in the classroom is important,” Mr Mitchell said.
“The Life Education van contributes to the health and wellbeing programs that we currently have in the school and the support provisions that we have in place, particularly with the program’s focus on resilience and cybersafety.
“Kids also gain so much knowledge about the importance of healthy eating and exercise. We are an active community, but when children have those messages reinforced by educators from outside the community, it’s a powerful reminder.”