Suncoast Christian College, upper primary students are participating in a learning extension program called Genius Hour. This program enables students to extend their creativity and giftedness in areas not typically covered by the standard curriculum, and this year students have embarked on a campaign to save the Koala on the Sunshine Coast.
Liana Simpson (Suncoast Christian College, Primary Curriculum Coach) explains: “Within Genius Hour, students have been learning about Steve Irwin’s conservation vision – particularly the plight of the Sunshine Coast’s endangered Koala population.” This kind of learning empowers students to see how their individual efforts can combine to impact real issues in positive ways.
Liana further explains: “Taking the initiative, students elected to tackle the problem of Koala conservation by launching a fundraising and awareness campaign. Initially, this meant that students adopted a Koala (plush toy) which they cared for over an entire term. As their interest grew, this evolved into a full-blown awareness and fundraising effort for Koala conservation within our region”.
Throughout 2019 students have run fundraising events aimed at donating funds to Australia Zoo’s Wildlife Hospital. The culminating fundraising event was held last Friday after which special guests from Australia Zoo, the Sunshine Coast Environment Council and the Queensland Koala Crusaders were invited to speak with students. The total money raised came to almost $900 and was presented to Australia Zoo on the day.
Speaking at last Friday’s cheque presentation ceremony, Narelle McCarthy, from the Sunshine Coast Environment Council comments: “It’s inspiring to see how well-informed and passionate the students at Suncoast Christian College about Koala conservation. They understand the threats – particularly here on the Sunshine Coast, where Koala populations are really in trouble. The money they have raised and the awareness they have created is an excellent example of what each of us can do to save the Koala.”
Meghan Halverson, President of Queensland Koala Crusaders also attended the event and commented: “Suncoast Christian College is an incredible example of what kids can do for the future of Koalas. They helped raise funds for the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital so we can help with the Koalas that our rescue team brings there – and they can get them back out into the wild.”
The funds now go to Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors, who will put it to work in wildlife conservation as Hannah Fox from Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors explains: “Wildlife Warriors are so grateful for the support shown by Suncoast Christian College as we work to conserve and protect koala populations. We couldn’t do this vital work without the support from schools and other community groups.”