An excursion to the beach provided an exciting new classroom for Jan Juc Preschool kids recently.
The students spent three sessions at their local beach learning about the importance of the coastal environment as part of ‘Beach Kinder’ – a free educational program. The eager little participants learnt about local plants and animals and the danger beach litter poses to the environment and the animals that live in it.
The Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC) led the sessions which saw a beach treasure hunt, cliff top walk and more.
GORCC conservation worker Pete Crowcroft believes that it is necessary to educate young children about their local surroundings and how to preserve it.
“It is a very beneficial program as it helps them to think about the environment and what belongs at the beach and what doesn’t while having fun,” Mr Crowcroft said.
The kinder kids participated in a beach treasure hunt with some exciting finds including shark eggs, sea stars and a bottle nose dolphin spine, examined fossils in the cliff face and learnt about the endangered Hooded Plovers.
Jan Juc Preschool teacher Jane Wilson said she hopes the activity will become an annual event.
“The Jan Juc Preschool has a philosophy of supporting children with their education of the local environment and to support children to appreciate and learn to care about their local areas and this program fitted in perfectly to this philosophy.
“The beach is an integral part of living [in Jan Juc] and the discussions are ongoing. The excursion brings together the ongoing discussion we have over the year.
“Interesting stories about the various uses for kelp in ice cream, toothpaste and Vegemite is something the children will remember for a long time,” she said.
For more information about GORCC’s educational programs and how to get involved, click here.