Twelve fantastic community projects are now underway thanks to Year 6 students involved in ‘Kids As Catalysts’.
The program, which empowers kids to lead creative community change, has been brought to Benalla through a partnership between Tomorrow Today and Benalla P-12 College. It is the brain child of Kid’s Thrive, a small group of theatre arts people who work with schools across Victoria. The 3T’s of philanthropy – time, treasure and talent – are used to spark discussion and help the students identify the positive change they are passionate about supporting in their community. Joining up with like-minded peers, the children form teams who approach local organisations to co-design philanthropic projects that address real problems.
The teams then make pitches to a judging panel to secure funding and project approval. Presenting recently at the Lakeside Community Centre, students used theatre and performance to make their proposals informative and entertaining – engaging both head and heart.
The students revealed a remarkable depth of understanding and insight into current social issues and how they might be addressed. Their diverse range of projects included raising awareness about house fires and their prevention, building nest boxes for the threatened Turquoise Parrot, increasing participation in the CWA and Girl Guides, supporting a local homework club and many more.
The judging panel consisted of the Benalla Mayor, Don Firth, Principal of Benalla P-12 College, Barbara O’Brien and leaders from Benalla Police, Benalla Health, Benalla Rotary, Benalla Lions Club and Tomorrow Today.
According to Tomorrow Today Wellbeing Coordinator, Cathy Hair, the students did an outstanding job.
“This program is about enabling children to build capacity and confidence through helping others and they really rose to that challenge,” said Mrs Hair.
The panel was so impressed by the students’ endeavours that all the projects were given the green light. A grant from Benalla Rural City is helping to finance the initiatives that require funding, while some of the projects rely solely on the student’s ‘time and talent’.
The next stage will be very exciting, as the students have to make all their projects happen.
Students will give their final project reports and reflect on what they have learned from this experience on Friday 8th September, 10.30am-1.30pm at the Lakeside Community Centre. Community members are welcome to attend, please RSVP to Tomorrow Today at firstname.lastname@example.org or 5762 1211.