Goulburn Valley primary school students have been busy recording the adventures of a toy monkey named iLenny as part of a project which aims to take education out of the classroom.SOPHIE MALCOLM November 19, 2012 4:25am
If you’ve seen a furry, friendly monkey making the rounds lately, you’re not alone.
His name is iLenny and he has visited houses, shops, parks and playgrounds all across the Shepparton area. On Tuesday, the toy monkey was the star of an exhibition that documented his recent adventures.
The project was a partnership between Mooroopna Primary School, Gowrie St Primary School in Shepparton and the Goulburn Murray Local Learning and Employment Network and aimed to take learning out of the classroom and into students’ homes.
The network’s Linda Cusworth said iLenny had been on some big adventures.
‘‘iLenny participated in community and after-school activities, helped out around the house, visited local shops and community facilities, went to work with family members and attended family gatherings and celebrations,’’ Ms Cusworth said.
‘‘He even went on a holiday to Queensland.’’
Years 5 and 6 students took turns to take the toy monkey home and included him in their daily routines and activities.
Ms Cusworth said students recorded iLenny’s travels by using an iPod Touch to take photos and write a journal together and students and parents worked together on information technology and literacy as part of the project.
‘‘Research shows that when families are involved in their children’s education at home, students are more likely to be more motivated, to achieve better results and to go further in school,’’ she said.
Gowrie St Primary School student Jada Briggs said she enjoyed having iLenny at her house.
‘‘It helped me make tea and it drove in the car with me,’’ the 11-year-old said.
‘‘It was a great adventure .
‘‘Monkeys can do a lot of things.’’
The network hopes to offer the program to other primary schools.
Today at 8.30pm on SBS television the Insight program casts its eye on Shepparton and asks the question: How do you beat the odds in a place where too many kids drop out of school, and not enough of them find jobs?
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