ARTICLES PUBLISHED IN THE LATROBE VALLEY EXPRESS
With the move of Latrobe Valley Flexible Learning Option
26 Jun 2017, midnight
FLO project manager and teacher Paul Fawcett with students Paige Towers, Dylan Faulkner, Levi Odger, Winnie Dalgheish-Turner and teacher Daina Hughes. photo hayley mills
With the move of Latrobe Valley Flexible Learning Option to the former Commercial Road Primary School, Morwell site set to happen in the coming months, the school is calling for volunteers to assist with a new community garden.
FLO teacher Paul Fawcett said the community garden would likely be operational in October, but is calling for expressions of interest from community members now.
"We want the right kind of people involved. People with expertise in gardening and people interested in working with young people," Mr Fawcett said.
"Our students struggle to learn in traditional ways, so (the community garden) will help them see the links between real life and the skills they learn."
Community members can assist in the running, planning and development of the garden, as well as tending to garden to take home freshly-grown fruits and vegetables.
Potential participants would need to be willing to undergo a free Working with Children Check and willing to put aside a couple of hours every week to tend to the garden.
"Lots of (FLO) students can be quite isolated, so it's a good opportunity for students to broaden their acquaintances and get to know more people in the community," Mr Fawcett said.
"It's not just about students, but getting the community involved."
Mr Fawcett said there would be about 43 raised garden beds, about half of which would be offered to the public.
"There will be limited space, so people need to get in quick," Mr Fawcett said.
For more information or to express interest in participating in the community garden contact email@example.com or visit www.lvflogreenvalleygardens.com
Garden Help Wanted
16 Oct 2017, midnight
Students Liam Hammer and Johnah Chittem with acting principal Wayne Bass and program coordinator Paul Fawcett have issued an appeal for community support ahead of the launch of a community garden. photograph Bryce Eishold
A community garden aimed to inspire and teach students life skills outside of the classroom in Morwell will be launched later this month.
It comes as the Latrobe Valley Flexible Learning Option [LV FLO] campus on Commercial Road has issued an appeal for volunteers and resources as the school plans to erect between 20 and 40 raised garden beds.
The garden will be used to grow fruit and vegetables and teach students responsibility while developing relationships with the broader community.
Program coordinator Paul Fawcett said the Green Valley Gardens project would help students improve their literacy and numeracy and learn skills like cooking and preparing meals.
"Linking in with the curriculum is something we are looking into as we speak, I've got some horticulturalists on board who are going to come and advise us how we can best incorporate this into our learning," Mr Fawcett said.
"We will be having some espalier fruit trees up against the chapel and we'll have some chook sheds in the garden. We hope to get some aquaponics in there too so we can do some work with carp or trout and grow our own fruits and vegetables in that respect."
LV FLO student Jonah Chittem said he "was looking forward to everyone coming together and excited to see everything come alive".
Student Liam Hammer said he was "looking forward to seeing the garden's progress ... I haven't had a chance to do something like this before so it's going to teach us new skills we'll use later in life."
The school, which has about 130 students, will later this month hold an on-site information session and barbecue to gauge the project's community interest."We understand there might be lots of people who might like to get involved but may not do so because of the worry about getting a Working With Children's Check but we will assist on doing that on the day," Mr Fawcett.
"Anyone who can donate an hour or 10 hours ... there's no prescribed amount of time but if there's people in the community who think they have anything to add whether it's time, resources or expertise, you will be welcomed with opening arms."
LV FLO acting principal Wayne Bass said the garden was receiving assistance from Kurnai College Morwell's 'Hands On Learning' project led by Michael Stubbs who has been assisting with the development of the garden.
"Our vision is to see it sewn, grown, harvest and over to our Learning Life Centre where the kids will use that food to learn how to cook, prepare meals, serve and cater for," Mr Bass said.
"Instead of the kids going down and buying groceries, we're going to teach them and give them an understanding where this food comes from and how much work goes in to growing it.
"We're also doing a Koori cultural garden ... we've got some people on side who know the background of the Koori culture, so we're going to look at how we can implement that into this garden as well."
Latrobe Valley Flexible Learning Option will hold a community information session and barbecue for interested people on Tuesday, 31 October from 12-1pm.
For more information, visit the school at the corner of Commercial Road and Chapel Street, Morwell, email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 5165 0670.