International Mud Day

A Day for Kids to PLAY IN MUD? Is this just too KOOKY?

I promise after listening to Tim Vidler speak on ABC Radio – You’ll … “Get It”

6a00e0097e4e68883301a511d5b9d7970c-320wiBold Park Community School (BPCS), founder of the inaugural International Mud Day, were excited to join other schools and organisations to partner in an initiative to link with schools around the globe in enjoying the benefits and pleasure of playing in mud!
The intention of this event is to provide children with a symbolic opportunity to join with others around the world in connecting through the catalyst of mud.
This year BPCS “amped it up” with a dirty-big mud obstacle course (the Mudsticle Course); where children from ages 3 to 18 (and adults) interconnect with like-spirited children around the world by playing in mud together on Friday the 27th June, 2014.
Grown from its inception in 2009 with the connection of 80 Nepalese orphans and the children of Bold Park Community School, with the support of the Nature Action Collaborative for Children (NACC), this inspirational initiative has flourished into a multi-continental annual celebration.
As the participants of Bold Park Community School Mud Day since 2009 have discovered, there are children like our friends in Nepal who are prevented from enjoying nature-based play because they only have one set of clothes. One of the aims of International Mud Day is to raise global awareness of this sad reality and provide funds to meet this need to enable children to delight in the joys of mud play, and in the mean time, encouraging our own children (and parents) to overcome our fear of getting dirty!
Mud gratifies one of our first and basic instincts. We will be playing in and connecting in the same earth. “Mud – It’s universal”.
For more information, visit the World Forum Mud Day site at:

 

Secret Mums on “POSITIVE” Business … OR … Engaging Our Parents in the Learning Partnership

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I hope you don’t mind my indulgence. It has been a fantastic few weeks at our little school. We have been running an intimate and innovative program for our Middle School girls (aged between 11 and 14).

These are confronting years for our young ladies and we have identified the need to focus on our girls in this age range. Families are needing support to cope as their girls deal with the new pressures of adolescence; confidence issues, body image and representations of beauty, healthy attitudes to food and exercise, complicated relationships (parents, “other girls”, and attraction/s to others) as well as the stresses of school, building success and coping with the technological presence of social and electronic media. It is no surprise that anxiety and stress are a growing community issue.

If our young people don’t have the tools to deal with these issues, they are simply not in a position to be able to learn.

The Middle School team consulted and researched widely to target a program that would offer the girl’s the confidence to address these issues within the school environment. Staff worked to collate a library of POSITIVE centred readings, video clips, podcasts, songs, feature articles and short stories centred around the themes we had identified and addressed POSITIVE solutions to HELP Girls… Kaz Cooke, Maggie Dent (our patron), the “Dove” media packages offered some great provocations;  as well as best practice readings from Relationships Australia and other professional support organisations.

resourcesThese “readings” have been broken into five weekly reading packages which will be delivered as a “girls only” group in a fully integrated English program. We have secretly employed the mums who also completed the reading program, complete with homework for Mum AND daughter.

Mother and daughter study, discuss, read and reflect on the weekly readings TOGETHER before they come to school to share their thoughts with their “Reading Circles” group.  The package integrates perfectly with English, Health, Electives, Zentangles and our Girls group and is informed by the pastoral care focus we have throughout the school.

The series culminated today (Friday the 6th June) with a special surprise event! The girl’s arrived to find all their mothers AT SCHOOL accompanied by our special guest; Kate Wilson – our amazing “spoken Word Poet” – a passionate young lady who has much to say about the issues we are addressing. You can view a sample of her work at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rK46nILY-rw – she was truly MAGICAL!

Most significantly – each mother shared about a moment from their own childhood where they had to face a challenge lead to a POSITIVE; something that was special to all of the girls – they were invited to present their snapshot through a medium of their choice; a dance, a song, a poem, a story but REAL and from the heart.

They also gave their daughter a handwritten letter in which they communicated and celebrated the BEAUTY they see in their daughter.

We are sold on the belief that schools must work with parents in partnership toward developing our young people – not JUST in an academic program but multi-elementally. We are excited that our school has been in an intimate position to RESPOND to the needs of our children in partnership with our wonderful community.

A Day in the Life Of ?

I had fun writing this a few years ago for an introduction to an article titled: “Why am I still Teaching?”. I haven’t revisited it for ages – hope you can read the tongue-in-cheek. Very different from my normal posts – hope you enjoy it!

“Hi, Mr W”

“Hi, Johnny – It’s great to see you! How did you go in your final exams last year?”

“OK, I guess. I haven’t really needed any of that stuff.”

“What do you mean?”

“I’m working for Diablo Steel Mining; 5 days on, 10 days off. They pay me $82,000 with accommodation and food included.”

“That’s great, Johnny – I’m really happy for you.” I repent for my lie on the way to the staff room.

Johnny’s spit balls are still on the roof of my classroom. Johnny wrote rude things in the dust of my Camry in Year 10. Johnny is now 18 and earning MORE THAN ME in the mining industry. Johnny is a moron.

I leave Johnny. I’m allowed to leave him all by himself now because he is wearing a “Visitor” badge. The school administrator obviously OK’d his pass. I want to write in the dust of the Administrator’s BMW – but I don’t.

The coffee jar is empty, I am on kitchen roster this week so I can’t be annoyed with anyone and that REALLY annoys me!

One of the photocopiers has “under repair” written on a recycled sheet of A3 and the other has been left to handle 62 copies of a 28 page SOSE booklet about recycling.

My one free period is replaced at the last minute by a compulsory relief lesson. I will be teaching “Sewing” to Year 8 boys (They call it something post modernist now but we all translate it back in our heads). They were going to ask a lady to do the relief but they didn’t want to appear to be sexist in their distribution of relief duties. I secretly wish Johnny was doing “Sewing” this afternoon.

Jessica Mildachophfski just spotted a spelling mistake on my whiteboard and even though Mrs Jennings has cancelled a meeting three times about her son’s lack of commitment – I will make time after school, before the new software training, to meet with her. 

I arrive home and find the credit card bill in my letter box. I have invested $127.50 in stickers, merit awards, lollies (don’t tell the P&C as they have just moved the whole school over to the Jamie’s Kitchen brigade), Second Hand DVDs, folders, notepads, posters, overhead projector pens, drawing pins and red cardboard for Valentine’s Day. My wife doesn’t say anything any more – she knows I NEED it. She says I should consider writing away for a grant from Diablo Steel Mining Company.

Before I go to bed I spend quality time with MY children. They are 2 of 120 I have spoken to today. I read the latest WA Curriculum Update (a daily review now) that I carry into the bathroom to read peacefully after dinner. I watch Biggest Loser and relate to it as meaningful television before I finish off my marking I didn’t get to do in the “Sewing” session.

My friends and relatives tell me how lucky I am to have 12 weeks off a year. That all teachers “…start at 9 and finish at 3 and get recess and lunch”. I don’t argue anymore.