Year 6 pupils at Benalla P-12 College took over the glasshouse last week to talk about their projects conducted as part of he ‘‘Kids Thrive — Kids as Catalyst’’ program organised by the Tomorrow Today Foundation.
Kids Thrive is a small group of theatre arts enthusiasts who work with schools across Victoria, to help students complete a number of community projects.
The program gives children an early taste of philanthropy and teaches them how they can contribute to making change in their community.
It also builds their confidence, courage and resilience.
The program works in three stages, firstly participants approach local organisations and convince them that together they can co-design activities that would be beneficial to the Benalla community.
Then they manage the difficulties of working as a team, keeping everyone on task and overcoming the logistics of meeting their community partners, purchasing materials for their projects and fitting in with school timetables.
Finally they present their projects to local dignitaries, community members, fellow pupils and members of the Tomorrow Today Foundation.
The results this year were stunning, with participants revealing a remarkable depth of understanding and insight into current social issues and how they might be addressed.
A diverse range of projects were undertaken, including raising awareness about house fires, building nest boxes for the turquoise parrot, increasing participation in the CWA and Girl Guides, supporting a local homework club, fostering inclusion for students with disabilities and many more.
Tomorrow Today’s executive officer Pat Claridge said the program was life-changing for many children.
‘‘It makes them change their focus from themselves and their own interests to thinking about how they can help others,’’ Ms Claridge said.
‘‘Through the program they realise they are not too young to make a positive difference in their own community.’’
The program was funded through a partnership between Tomorrow Today and Benalla P-12 College.
The initiatives were financed by a $2000 community grant from Benalla Rural City Council.
Tomorrow Today and Benalla P-12 College gratefully acknowledge the work of the Kids Thrive Team and the support of their volunteers, members of the funding panel and community partners.