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Winning streak for education partnership

5 months ago from Parks Victoria

Winning Streak for Education Partnership

Thursday 7 November, 2013

Lara Primary School and Serendip Sanctuary have had a very successful year so far, and they’re hoping it’s going to continue. So far this year they have won two NAB Schools First Impact Grants; $30,000 in September and a further $30,000 in the Living Sustainably category. On November 28th they will compete for a further $140,000 as overall national winner.

Over 31% of schools Australia-wide compete for these grants, and the key to the success of this partnership is its strong ten year relationship in community education and broad scale environmental education.  

Regardless of whether they take out the national prize, Lara Primary and Serendip are planning to spend some of their $60,000 winnings to develop a Phone App for Serendip Sanctuary. The students will work closely with the Serendip rangers gathering information about the species on the Wildlife Walk at the Sanctuary. They will then use this to create an educational App that other school groups and the general public can access.

“This will take the partnership into a new area of environmental education using technology as an educational tool,” says teacher Marcia O’Brien. “At present, all grades from Prep to Grade 6 spend a week working at the Sanctuary. They take on the role of custodians within the park, and then use their IT skills to interpret what they’ve learned about nature and the environment.”

She says the school, its staff and families really appreciate the support they receive from Parks Victoria and Serendip Sanctuary. “Students love chatting with Ranger Ruth about birds and Ranger Matt about endangered species. At the end of each day you often see the students raking paths, sweeping the walkways and doing simple cleaning chores.  They love being at Serendip Sanctuary and really feel a sense of ownership.”

Rebecca Kotow, Head of Education and Corporate Responsibility at the NAB, says the community should be incredibly proud of Lara Primary School’s achievements to date. The partnership will compete against all the other category winners at a ceremony in Melbourne on November 28th. Former Serendip Team Leader Mick Smith will represent Parks Victoria along with Marcia from Lara Primary.  

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