Echuca Specialist School students look out for their friends on R U OK Day

By Alex Gretgrix

STUDENTS at Echuca Specialist School were in a sea of yellow last Thursday as they joined the many around town raising awareness for R U OK Day.

Staff and the kids all dressed in their best yellow clothes and spent the day having fun as a group.

“We've had the kids doing lots of activities throughout the week while we've also been promoting on our Facebook page and we've even created a video with the students,” Echuca Specialist School wellbeing co-ordinator Jenny Weeks said.

“The video goes through what we've been learning at school around this year's R U OK Day theme which was ‘There's more to say after: are you okay?'.

“We spoke to the kids about what they could say in that situation and we have got footage of that and the activities they've been doing in the video.”

Ms Weeks said this week has really got the students talking.

“It's been very thought-provoking for them because normally people say they're fine so when they stop and say ‘actually maybe I'm not so okay’, the kids have stopped and had a really good think about how they could keep that conversation going,” she said.

“And they've been able to think more about how they include people, how they are as a friend and we've had a lot of students say they would give them a hug.”

While COVID-19 has made things difficult, the school was still able to celebrate in a different way.

“It's a bit hard to have a barbecue at the moment, but we've decorated the school as much as we could and we're delivering food to all the classrooms so we're still doing the right thing,” Ms Weeks said.

“All the activities were done in the classrooms as well and we've had the art students make some lovely murals as well, so overall it's been a successful day.”

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