Welcome to the latest Life Education Queensland Pulse – our first issue for the year. I hope 2021 is off to a positive start for you and your family.
Given the current national conversation around issues of respect, consent and women’s safety, in many ways Life Education’s work seems more relevant than ever. For decades, we’ve been teaching children about good nutrition, cybersafety and the harms of cigarettes, drugs and alcohol. Our educators also teach young people about sexual health and respectful relationships through key programs like: Talk About It, Relate, Respect, Connect and bCyberwise.
And that’s vital, because if we want to change attitudes and behaviours, we need to support children to develop appropriate social-emotional skills from a young age – and just as importantly – parents and community leaders need to model respect, empathy, compassion and equality in relationships too.
I recently had the opportunity to talk about Life Education Queensland’s role in reinforcing these concepts in a wide-ranging interview with ABC Radio Brisbane’s Rebecca Levingston.
In this issue, we share some of the exciting new developments that will help underpin LEQ’s work with more than 200-thousand children across the state including (click the links below to skip to the story):
There’s plenty to be excited about, and there’s also so much work to be done. Supporting children to be healthy, safe and resilient is a huge task. Parents, schools, the charitable sector, business, government – everyone has a role to play to build communities where children can thrive.
As always, we thank the Queensland Government, Health and Wellbeing Queensland, Communities for Children, North Queensland PHN and our many Kids Protect Team donors. This support enables us to work alongside parents and schools throughout the state to make a difference in the lives of more than 200,000 Queensland children.
Get ready to lace up your joggers – the Healthy Harold Hundred is coming!
For 20 days in May, from the 5th to the 24th, thousands of Queenslanders will walk, run or ride their way to 100ks to raise funds to help stamp out bullying and violence. It’s a brand new event, and already hundreds of people from across the state have signed up at www.healthyharoldhundred.org.au.
Not only is it a great way to get active and improve your fitness, funds raised will help Life Education to develop and deliver more respectful relationships education to children in schools – programs which empower children with the social and emotional skills to address the behaviours associated with bullying and violence.
And that’s important because:
We are delighted to welcome popular parenting expert Dr Justin Coulson and Channel 9 newsreader Eva Milic as official ambassadors for Life Education and the Healthy Harold Hundred campaign.
They’ll join families, individuals and school communities all over Queensland taking on the 100k-challenge to help stamp out bullying and violence. We invite you to register by clicking here to be part of this exciting initiative. Watch our inspiring videos to find out how your support of the Healthy Harold Hundred will make a big difference to Queensland children.
With our program back in full swing across the state, the iconic Life Education mobile learning centres, (affectionately known as Healthy Harold vans), are also back in Queensland schools in 2021, much to the delight of young learners.
Custom-built to deliver health and safety education to tens of thousands of children, the vans were placed in storage during the COVID lockdown last March, while our educators delivered online and then in classrooms, libraries and school halls.
But due to popular demand from schools, and with COVID restrictions easing, Harold is back in his natural habitat, and judging by the reaction from students, it’s been the highlight of term one.
Life Education Queensland CEO Michael Fawsitt who visited Bentley Park College in Cairns to share the good news, said the iconic ‘Harold’ van was a key part of the Life Education experience and educators were excited to resume teaching in 20 mobile learning centres around the state.
“Many schools have been telling us they want to see the vans back, but schools still have the option of having the program in the classroom if they prefer,” Mr Fawsitt said.
“Students love the program, regardless of the setting in which it’s delivered, but there is something unique about the mobile learning centres. The interactive 3D technology and video resources in the vans really enhance the delivery of our health education content, so it’s fantastic that we can provide that experience again for children.”
See how Harold and the Life Education vans were welcomed back in far north Queensland.
Life Education Queensland’s award-winning Healthy Eats program is making great strides in helping young Queenslanders boost their daily consumption of fruit and vegetables – embedding learning that will help fight obesity and create better health outcomes for the next generation.
There continues to be strong demand for Healthy Eats in North Queensland, with the program returning to previous Healthy Eats schools and offered to new schools. So far this year, 13 schools in the region have signed on to the program, and in Cairns, seven schools participated in term one.
Isabella State School in Edmonton [students pictured] is one school already reaping the benefits of the Healthy Eats program.
Head of curriculum Debbie Humphries said the school’s Year 5 students who attended the nutrition classroom workshop in term one, are already making more informed, healthy eating choices.
“The program has positively influenced their classroom food environment and children are not only more aware of what they are eating at school, but teachers report that they’re sharing their nutritional knowledge at home too,” Ms Humphries said.
The school’s Year 3 – 5 students are now completing the Fruit and Vegetable Classroom Passport Competition component of the Healthy Eats program running from Weeks 6 – 9.
Each student records the serves of fruits and/or vegetables they eat at school each day, and at the end of each week, each class tallies their numbers. This four-week long competition sees the classes competing against each other to win a healthy class picnic provided by Life Education Queensland.
Following its success in north Queensland, Healthy Eats has expanded to the state’s southeast – with term two bookings now open for eligible schools in Ipswich, Logan and the northern Gold Coast regions.
The Healthy Eats team has grown to include a dedicated nutritionist, and community development officers, who offer strategic support to schools throughout the program and guidance on the optional accreditation process.
Healthy Eats schools can now be officially recognised for their commitment to creating healthy school food environments.
On completion of the 10-step accreditation process, schools are eligible to receive the Healthy Eats program rewards, including:
Find out more about the amazing Healthy Eats program, the accreditation process and rewards available to your school here.
Life Education Queensland is excited to partner with the renowned Triple P Positive Parenting Program – which means our team of experienced educators can provide further support to school and parent communities.
Developed in Queensland and used around the world, the Triple P Program is backed by more than 375 academic and research studies and has helped thousands of families support children and teenagers through life’s ups and downs. The program makes it easier to manage the common day-to-day challenges of parenting by offering practical skills and tools to help parents.
So far, ten of our team of 28 Life Education educators have been trained to deliver the Triple P seminar – ‘Raising Resilient Children’.
The session aims to help parents:
Experienced educator Sue [pictured] received this positive feedback from a parent after delivering one of the first sessions.
"Thank you, Sue, for the seminar on Wednesday. It was very helpful! You open my mind to different ways of communicating with my girls.”
Another parent commented:
“It was great to be reminded to be present for my child.”
The Life Education parent podcast is back in 2021 with two engaging interviews already streaming on Spotify, iHeart, Apple Podcasts and Soundcloud.
Dietitian and author Kate Di Prima discusses a range of important nutrition issues and solutions to diet dilemmas in ‘Growing happy little VEGGIE-mites’, while popular clinical psychologist and media commentator Dr Judith Locke features in our latest podcast, ‘Help your child succeed at school’ which discusses everything from building resilience and routines, to dealing with bullying, and strategies to help children thrive at school and beyond.
The podcasts are part of a suite of resources for schools, parents and teachers. They complement our face-to-face program in schools and are just some of the resources available on our new online learning platform, the Life Education Hub.