In a first for regional NSW, more children from the NSW Mid North Coast region will have access to drug, alcohol and anti-bullying programs thanks to our innovative new pop-up classroom.
Life Education NSW CEO Kellie Sloane was in Lake Cathie recently to launch the new pop-up classroom with children from Lake Cathie Public School, who were the first students in the area to experience Healthy Harold’s new home.
Ms Sloane said while the organisation will continue to use its fleet of vans to deliver classes across the state, including on the Mid North Coast, the new pop-up classrooms are much more cost-effective, and can be used in schools that can’t accommodate a large vehicle.
“At a cost of around $20,000, the dome is approximately one fifth of the price of a new van, will cost less to maintain, and eliminates rigid towing schedules.
“The pop-up classroom still incorporates much-loved features of the van including the stars on the ceiling, touch screens, cutting-edge technologies and of course Healthy Harold,” she said.
Currently, Life Education delivers its health education program to more than 14,000 students from 85 schools on the Mid North Coast. Ms Sloane said the pop-up classroom would allow the organisation to reach around 1000 more students in the area over the next year.
Earlier this year, the NSW Government committed $191,000 in funding for Life Education to help the organisation purchase three new pop-up inflatable classrooms, hire four new part time educators in regional communities, including one for the Mid North Coast region, and subsidise the cost of classes in the state’s most disadvantaged schools.
In addition, Coffs Harbour MP Andrew Fraser provided funding through Community Building Partnerships grants to provide a purpose-built Healthy Harold car to transport the pop-up to local schools up and down the coast and beyond.
Our new pop-up classrooms will visit areas across regional NSW over the next 12 months including the South Coast, Snowy Mountains, Orana, South West, Mid and Far North Coast, North West as well as the Central Coast and Illawarra.