Brakes on violence
Twelve cyclists took their “Stop the Violence” message to Roebourne District High School last week as part of their 578km ride to raise awareness and funds for violence prevention in the Pilbara.
The six-day Ride for Unity coincided with the IF Foundation’s Violence Prevention Week last week, with funds raised used to support community programming across the region.
IF Foundation executive officer Brendan Parker said the riders visited schools from Port Hedland to Onslow to talk about violence prevention and bullying.
“We’re all here for different reasons, but to support the same fantastic cause,” he said.
“We have tried to bring the Stop the Violence message to the kids in a way that resonates with them in the form of a play from the IF Foundation.
“It’s not just about educating the kids, it’s a chance for us to educate the community and sponsors.”
The highlight of the visit for many came when one cyclist, Upstanding Kids founder Peter Parker, donated 15 standing desks to the school, in what is believed to be an Australia-first classroom trial.
Dr Parker said the event offered the opportunity to join forces with the IF Foundation to launch the standing desks at Roebourne Senior High school, with the aligned message of improving children’s physical and mental health in the classroom.
“The idea of upstanding kids is that we’re in a sitting epidemic — children are sitting to 90 per cent of their day and the health consequences physically and mentally are enor mous,” he said.
“Just by standing the kids will breathe and focus better, which will mean they may do better cognitively at school.
“At Roebourne, we are particularly interested to see how it will affect rates of absenteeism and class engagement in a pilot research project with Deakin University.
“The Pilbara is a fantastic place to launch Upstanding Kids, the community strength of this area could see it go into other schools far more quickly than it would in the city.”
Roebourne District High School principal David Payne said the school was excited to be trialling the desks in the Year 2 classroom.
“We are really keen to see how removing chairs from the class room will assist our students with connecting their movement with their learning and how that will reduce distractions in the classroom,” he said.
The Ride for Unity cyclists paid a visit to Roebourne District High School on their 600km cycle from Port Hedland to Onslow to raise awareness about youth violence.