Kids driv­ing change

Benalla Ensign - - News - By Si­mon Rup­pert

Be­nalla P-12 Col­lege and the To­mor­row To­day Foun­da­tion have joined forces for the Kids as Cat­a­lysts pro­gram, which em­pow­ers Year 6 stu­dents to lead cre­ative com­mu­nity change.

The pro­gram en­cour­ages chil­dren to iden­tify a pos­i­tive change that would ben­e­fit Be­nalla be­fore pitch­ing that con­cept to a judg­ing panel in or­der to se­cure fund­ing.

That panel in­cluded Mayor Don Firth, Be­nalla P-12 prin­ci­pal Bar­bara O’Brien and lead­ers from Be­nalla Po­lice, Be­nalla Health, the Ro­tary and Lions clubs and To­mor­row To­day.

The 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, and sup­port­ing a lo­cal home­work club.

To­mor­row To­day wellbeing co-or­di­na­tor Cathy Heir said the stu­dents were out­stand­ing.

‘‘This pro­gram is about en­abling chil­dren to build ca­pac­ity and con­fi­dence through help­ing others and they re­ally rose to that chal­lenge,’’ Mrs Hair said.

Judges were so im­pressed with the ideas put for­ward that they ap­proved fund­ing for ev­ery group that pre­sented.

A grant from Be­nalla Ru­ral City is help­ing fi­nance those ini­tia­tives which re­quire fund­ing, while some will rely solely on the stu­dents’ time and ta­lent.

Par­tic­i­pants will now move onto the next stage of the pro­gram, where they will turn their ideas into real phil­an­thropic ven­tures.

The fi­nal project re­ports will be pre­sented on Septem­ber 8 at the Lake­side Com­mu­nity Cen­tre.

● Mem­bers of the com­mu­nity are en­cour­aged to come along. If you are in­ter­ested, please con­firm your at­ten­dance by phon­ing 5762 1211 or email­ing ad­min@to­mor­row­to­

Get­ting in­volved: Be­nalla P-12 stu­dents have en­joyed tak­ing part in Kids as Cat­a­lysts.

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