Brendan Hicks (back), 15, Ailie Macgregor, 4, and Corey Eggins, 15, test out the new cubbyhouse at the Evans Head Pre-School.
Brendan Hicks (back), 15, Ailie Macgregor, 4, and Corey Eggins, 15, test out the new cubbyhouse at the Evans Head Pre-School. Jay Cronan

Students team up to learn skills

THERE is a new team in town and if the size and scale of the projects they have completed lately are anything to go by, they could be undertaking an outstanding building project near you soon.

The Evans River K-12 School Green Team is made up of 10 Year 9 boys who are learning workplace skills in a range of different trade areas such as carpentry, spray painting, panel beating, bricklaying and paving.

The work keeps them busy each Friday and gets them out of the classroom and involved in hands-on activities that often benefit the local community and are generally "green" environmentally-based projects.

"It makes them responsible for their own safety and the quality of work that they're doing," said teacher Jason Stock.

"It keeps them interested at school and helps them to gain workplace attributes."

Their most recent accomplishment is a cubby house built for Evans Head Pre-School, which is proving very popular.

"The children think it's cool. And we think it's great for their growth and developing motor skills," said pre-school teacher Cath Gillespie.

One of the boys who helped build the cubby, Brendan Hicks, said it had given him a real sense of achievement.

"It gave me a better name in the public - people know who I am. I feel proud, just getting involved and actually doing some work like this. It's better than class. I was amazed when I saw it finished. I didn't think we could make anything like that."

His fellow Green Team member Brad Hennessy credits his teacher's involvement.

"Our teacher taught us heaps of skills and how to do this work," Brad said.

"It's been good to learn new skills and have fun. I felt pretty good when I saw the cubby after it was built."

"Their labour is really valued and as you can see with this project it has had a good outcome and they also get a little bit of kudos for offering their support to the community, which is something they don't always get and that recognition is good," Mr Stock said.

It was also a learning experience for the pre-schoolers.

"The Green Team were the be-all and end-all," said Ms Gillespie.

"They got the kids involved while they built the cubby and explained to them what was happening while they worked."



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