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Coledale’s classroom comes alive

Coledale Public School students at their Living Classroom. Picture: Coledale Public School website.

COLEDALE Public School’s Living Classroom was officially opened yesterday by Wollongong City Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery.

The Living Classroom is an environmental education program where students are encouraged to grow a range of plants using permaculture principals to create an outdoor learning area.

The goals of the program are to teach students about the environment, how to care for, and protect, their environment, and to understand the principals of ecologically sustainable development.

Supported by the Illawarra Biodiversity and Local Food Strategy for Climate Change, this program is a partnership between Wollongong, Shellharbour and Kiama Councils. It’s made possible with assistance from the NSW Government’s Environmental Trust.

“This is such a great initiative,” Lord Mayor Bradbery said.

“While it’s essential students are taught to read and write, education isn’t just what happens in a classroom. These students are learning the whole time they’re out in this Living Classroom. Whether they’re digging in the garden, planting vegetable seedlings or tasting school-grown fruit, they’re taking in vital life skills and are learning about how to look after themselves, and their environment.”

Coledale Public School’s Living Classroom is the third in the Illawarra. Mt Terry and Kiama Public Schools have also launched their gardens.

About Mick Roberts

A newspaper journalist, writer and local historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of pubs, inns and associated industries in the Sydney and Illawarra regions of NSW for over 30 years. He is currently working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides authoring a number of history books, Mick has owned and operated several community newspapers. He was one time editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), Sydney based, City News, and is now with Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW.

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