Getting the creative juices flowing, and helping a community
10 February 2020 at 5:03 pm
The program will impact over 1,900 kids in marginalised areas
Forget dictionaries and whiteboards, a new program is hoping to unlock creativity and improve the well-being of primary school kids in some of the most marginalised areas of Victoria.
On Friday, Meadows Primary, a school in the northeastern Melbourne suburb Broadmeadows, will be the third school to open a “story hub”, which is an interactive space designed by and for kids to write, draw and tell stories.
The room was co-designed by students over a 12-month period and will include interactive features to stimulate creative and critical thinking.
Sunshine Primary in Melbourne’s west and Copperfield College in the city’s northwest have also recently launched the program.
Developed by teachers and the community organisation 100 Story Building, the program comes off the back of research that found children who build their creativity and work collaboratively have improved well-being and are better prepared for the future of work once they leave school.
Jess Tran, story hubs manager, told Pro Bono News that art-based teaching and learning were especially important for marginalised kids.
“Those who don’t have the opportunity to practice their collaboration and creativity in their everyday classroom are missing out on things that a lot of children in our society take for granted,” Tran said.
“It’s not a silver bullet, but it’s really a tool that educators and people who work with children can use to support a whole host of benefits.”
The three-year project will cost $1.5 million, with funding provided by the philanthropic groups Ian Potter Foundation, Perpetual Trustees and the Aesop Foundation.
Tran said philanthropy played a vital role in getting these new models of education off the ground.
“We see the role of our philanthropic partners in being able to bring other members of the community to support children to reach their creative potential,” she said.
Principal of Meadows Primary Anthony Potesta said he was delighted to be one of the first schools to be involved in the project.
“I am thrilled to be part of the story hubs initiative that will see increased levels of engagement in literacy for our students, teachers and parents,” Potesta said.