Some of the region’s most enthusiastic students were given the gift of outdoor education recently thanks to donations from local sports clubs.ROB HENSON June 24, 2014 3:47am
The great outdoors: Tocumwal Golf Club operations manager Anton Noble (far left) and Sporties marketing and promotions manager Mick O'Dwyer (far right) with teachers and students at Cobram Community House gardens.
Some of the region’s most enthusiastic students were given the gift of outdoor education recently thanks to donations from local sports clubs.
The Life Skills course, run at Cobram Community house received $500 from Barooga Sporties and $500 from Tocumwal Golf Club for bus excursions to local farms.
The course forms part of the Certificate I in Transitional Education, a course building foundation skills for a range of learners, some with a disability.
Trainer Jo Newham said the course’s nine students had used the funding to rent a bus to visit local dairies and beef farms.
As part of a paddock-to-plate approach, Ms Newham said the future plans were to visit a butchers and cook their own meals for their final class.
‘‘We’re teaching skills for life, including good eating and how to cook,’’ she said.
‘‘Today when we worked they were really jumping into it and getting hands on. And they’ll be taking recipes home with them.
‘‘The focus is on teaching them something they can use, rather than learning something just for the sake of it.’’
She said the excursions had made ‘‘a big difference’’ to student morale.
‘‘Going out and seeing where the food came from has been great,’’ she said.
‘‘It makes them really enthusiastic about what they’re doing, makes it seem a bit more real.’’
Cobram Community House business development co-ordinator Sally Bate said the life skills course emerged a few years ago through a push from governments.
‘‘Previously there was a gap in education for (people with disabilities) and even back then there was the government push to ‘earn or learn’,’’ Ms Newham said.
She said the course also acted as an outreach service, with students from towns, such as Tocumwal, Yarrawonga and Katamatite.
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