DISCOVERING the history of Echuca has never been so enthralling
Students at Echuca (208) Primary School were immersed in their visit to the Port of Echuca Discovery Centre last week, as part of a new education program being trialled in the region.
Customer service officer Jason Clymo said it was important to teach students about Echuca’s history.
‘‘Educating kids about this history in the interactive manner this program allows is something they love to do,’’ Mr Clymo said.
‘‘Being able to dress up in costumes to represent the times is also important for immersing the kids in the experience.’’
Mr Clymo said it was a fun program for all involved and feedback had been positive so far.
‘‘We love getting the feedback on the program and so far it’s been very positive,’’ he said.
‘‘Guided tours are important to teach kids history but these interactive sessions are a fantastic compliment to that.’’
Mr Clymo said this was the first test of the program with the aim to expand it in the future.
‘‘We’re looking at creating a package of the program to hopefully promote to other schools so even more kids get to have this enjoyable and engaging experience,’’ he said.
Tour guide and former Echuca South Primary School principal Brian Wilkinson said the program was missing in primary schools.
‘‘There was a gap in the programs primary school students were being given and this initiative goes a long way to filling that vital component of their schooling,’’ Mr Wilkinson said.
‘‘It fits in well with their curriculum by giving them the most authentic experience possible of the history they are being taught about.
‘‘It helps get the community more involved in the town’s history as well as a knock on effect from the kids being given this education.’’
EPS grade two teacher Libby Preston said students visited different places as often as possible to give them the best history education.
‘‘The kids have done a tour of the wharf and had guest speakers at school,’’ Mrs Preston said.
‘‘We’re hoping to have the kids go and see a production being performed at St Joseph’s in future and travel to the pioneers camp at Swan Hill.’’
Mrs Preston said the first hand experiences the students received through hands on style education was an invaluable tool that could not be undervalued.
‘‘The kids love getting in costume and the physical replication of what they are learning which they get to do here at the Discovery Centre,’’ she said.
‘‘They are really engaged in this style of learning and it links in well with the more traditional book work they do alongside it.
‘‘We’re very lucky to have the wharf in town for the benefits it provides to give the kids an extra layer to their book work in class.’’