A Happier Healthier Harold

I am pleased to advise that children in NSW are set to enjoy their Life Education classes with the organisation’s mascot Healthy Harold, inside new pop up inflatable classrooms, allowing Harold and educators to reach more regional and remote locations.

The NSW Government today announced a commitment of $191,000 in funding for Life Education to help the organisation purchase three new pop-up inflatable classrooms, hire four new part time educators in regional communities, and subsidise the cost of classes in the state’s most disadvantaged schools.

Life Education and its mascot Healthy Harold have for nearly 40 years been part of the fabric of health education in our schools.

This funding for the new pop up classrooms will allow the organisation to reach an extra 5000 children in the first 12 months of the program.

The unfortunate truth is that children in regional areas are more likely to be overweight and experiment with drugs and alcohol, and right now, they’re also dealing with the emotional impacts of a devastating drought, so this sort of positive health education could not be more important.

The new domes, which look like a giant black inflatable igloo, can be erected in about 10 minutes, comfortably fit an entire class, and then fold down to fit in the back of an educator’s car.

The new pop up classrooms are much more cost-effective, and can be used in schools that can’t accommodate a large vehicle.

This innovative learning space means Happy Harold can reach more regional children, faster, and in an exciting and memorable way.

At about $20,000 each, the domes are approximately one fifth of the price of a new van, will cost less to maintain, and eliminate rigid towing schedules.

The pop-up classroom will still include much-loved features of the van including the stars on the ceiling, touch screens, cutting-edge technologies and of course Healthy Harold.

Programs like these are invaluable to students in regional NSW.

Everybody knows how much of an impact a Life Education class can have on a child, and students should not miss out on this opportunity just because they live in regional and remote areas.

I am proud the NSW Government continues to partner with organisations like Life Education to ensure that every child – whether they are from Terrigal or Trangie – has access to these kinds of crucial resources.

One pop up classroom has already been trialled in Sydney. The three new domes will visit a variety of areas across regional NSW over the next 12 months including the South Coast, Snowy Mountains, Orana, South West, Mid and Far North Coast, North West as well as the Central Coast and Illawarra.

Life Education is Australia’s largest provider of preventative health education in schools, and visits approximately 290,000 NSW students each year.