More than 3,000 students in the Muswellbrook and Upper Hunter shires will continue to benefit from interactive health education programs as a result of a three-year investment by BHP Billiton Mt Arthur Coal.
The $116,000 partnership will also ensure Healthy Harold, the loveable giraffe who is the face of the Life Education program, maintains a regular presence in the Upper Hunter.
The funding will allow Hunter Life Education to continue to provide a positive and fun learning experience that encourages healthy lifestyles to students at 20 local primary schools and four local preschools.
The investment builds on the success of the existing partnership between BHP Billiton and Hunter Life Education, to which more than $300,000 has been contributed by the company since 2005.
Peter Sharpe, BHP Billiton NSW Energy Coal Asset President, said the company recognises the value of providing young people with the opportunity to learn how to stay physically, mentally and emotionally healthy.
“Since the start of our partnership with Hunter Life Education, thousands of local students between the ages of four and sixteen have taken part in programs in the Muswellbrook and Upper Hunter shires,” he said.
“The programs emphasise the importance of making healthy lifestyle choices and Mt Arthur Coal is proud to partner with an organisation that provides young people with such positive life lessons that will stick with them throughout their lives,” Mr Sharpe said.
Sally Coddington, Hunter Life Education Executive Officer, welcomed the renewed partnership with Mt Arthur Coal and the program’s expansion into preschools.
“With the help of Healthy Harold and our Life Education educators, we build resilience in young people by challenging their values and attitudes, expanding their knowledge and developing their skills,” she said.
“Mt Arthur Coal’s three-year investment means that every child in the Muswellbrook and Upper Hunter shires has the opportunity to develop the skills and knowledge to make healthy lifestyle choices.
“This is an opportunity that few communities are offered and the effectiveness of the education can be enhanced when the message is reinforced over time, across curriculum and within the home and broader community,” Ms Coddington said.