Sunday, August 17, 2008

Caravan Gogh

Bright Approach To An All-Round Education

Photograph copyright: DAVID McMAHON


The arrival of the Life Education Van or the "Life Ed Van" as it is commonly known here, is always a highlight for Australian primary schools. Basically, it is a mobile classroom used by a not-for-profit organisation that does great work around the country.

According to the Life Education charter, the organisation "motivates, encourages and empowers young people to make smart life choices for a healthy future, free from the harmful effects of drugs." It does this by encouraging "respect for the uniqueness of each individual, and teaches the skills to assert confidently that individuality, especially in social settings with friends."

This particular Life Ed Van is distinctive in that it features the distinctive artwork and animal characters created by children’s author and illustrator Michael Salmon. I’ve never actually met him but I’m very familiar with his work, with several of his titles on our bookshelves at home.

Apart from being well-known in creative circles, he spends a lot of time each year visiting schools, speaking to children and using humour to help students develop a healthy respect for themselves, their peers and for society in general.

Michael Salmon also gets my vote because he encourages awareness of schoolchildren protecting the rights of younger students, not just in the classroom but, more importantly, on the playing field as well. I was fortunate never to have been bullied at boarding school, so I understand just how vital the message is.


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24 comments:

Sandra Ree said...

I think this is wonderful.

We have similar programs here in the South but not with the beautifully painted bus. Wow!

I've always volunteered in the schools, with my sons and now with my daughter and I can tell you first hand that programs like this really work.

The Life Education Van definitely gets my vote!

D... said...

Very bright & colorful! I love the premise behind it.

shutterhappyjenn said...

That is a great thing to spread the knowledge! I hope all countries will do such thing.

My critter's up HERE. Happy weekends!

Sandi McBride said...

I'm not sure if we have anything compatible here in the States, but I certainly intend to find out. It's a wonderful idea whose time came long ago and was sadly left waiting at the station. Bullying seems to be the norm, and teachers only say, "if I didn't see it I can't do anything about it" hence we have the Columbine tragedies...I truly believe that the bullying of other students caused it and we must find a way to take it in hand, to "nip it in the bud". Hopefully we haven't waited to long. Wonderful post.
Sandi

i beati said...

they look like bright characters to me-- and Australia looks like they are having the time of their life in Olympics even though placing rowing second !!Still having a ball .Getting that material for you . I'm training for a job nline and doing too much at present Chewy great sk

ratmammy said...

a very creative post!

Louise said...

Terrific (and creative) pictures with nice explanation. What a wonderful program.

CrazyCath said...

What beautiful colourful critters! He's a great artist by these representations.
We have a similar van comes to primary school with a similar theme. It is so important to teach mutual respect, but the thing that struck me is that this Life Ed also focuses on respect for self. If all children learned a respect for themselves, then we wouldn't have half the problems with society that we do now.

A great post. Thought provoking as usual.

Kahshe Cottager said...

Wouldn't it be great fun to see that driving down the street!

Thanks for your visit to see my flying dragons!

Rambling Woods said...

Nice idea and colorful van...

Pat - An Arkansas Stamper said...

Kudos to the Life Education group, and to Mr. Salmon for his attractive (in many ways) art work. I applaud his and the group's work in educating young children about looking out for each other.

But, really, David! "Caravan Gogh?" :::stifled groan:::

Indrani said...

Very interesting and a nice way of introducing education... no such concepts here in India. Our villages need something like this even if it is in a much smaller scale.

Deb said...

Won't it be a wonderful day when there is no longer a need for this type of program? When we all treat each other the way we want to be treated ~ with respect, compassion and kindness. It is not that hard -let's just do it. Hope I see it in my lifetime.

Carletta said...

How very cool!
Pat's remark is priceless.

Faye Pekas said...

These are very cute critters. My grandson recently moved away and I miss reading to him.

My critter is here

Corey~living and loving said...

oooo I'd love to drive that around. :) tee heee....can't you just see it?

Misty Dawn said...

What a fantastic bus and person in general! GREAT post David - I really enjoyed this!

Celebration of Life said...

Hi David! I just popped in to say hi; I haven't been to the blog world for a few days because I am renevating my kitchen.

I just have to say, again, that I love your pictures, your wit and sense of humor!

Jo

Kathryn said...

Wow! That is motivating for kids.

Lana Gramlich said...

Lovely! What a fun painting. :)

babooshka said...

You've done it again with the lateral thinking critters. I applaud Educational art. Aswell as an artist Gary my other half still does supply teaching at the local school now and then. It inspires the kids to have "The man who draws for the BBC Politics show" say you can do it. Absoltely wonderful post.

Rhea said...

I like the mobile van and the message that guy sends out. Very nice.

fishing guy said...

David: Really cool CC post, I've been busy but will try to catch up.

Carrie and Troy Keiser said...

That's cool. Love the catchy art work and the program sounds great.