Shepparton’s St Brendan’s Primary School Year 5 and 6 students are using their artistic skills and learning about the importance of the dairy industry through a new program called Painting Daisy.
The program, in its inaugural year, showcases the relevance of the dairy industry to the school community through art.
The program is run during term three in schools and is a literacy and visual arts task for the students.
Students work in teams of two to paint or decorate a miniature cow, research a chosen topic on the dairy industry and write a good news story reflecting their learning.
Some of the topics the students may cover are the jobs dairying creates in their local area and the nutritional value of dairy foods.
‘‘The Painting Daisy program helps to link an important industry to young people that live in country towns and may not be aware of the connection between what’s being produced locally and the impact such an industry can have on our local community,’’ St Brendan’s teacher Mark Almond said.
The program is a fun way of allowing the students to investigate the importance of the industry to their region, its relevance to their local community and how industry, education and local communities can work together.
‘‘In years gone by, children either lived on dairy farms themselves or they had family members that did,’’ John Hutchison, one of the Painting Daisy program managers, said.
‘‘Through progressive changes, especially in technology, the number of dairy farms has decreased, yet the size of the farms has increased.
‘‘Many students now have little or no knowledge of what happens on these dairy farms, the smorgasbord of careers available in the industry or the impact of local industry on their community.
‘‘The program is a great way to educate rural students about what happens in their community and the importance of an industry that operates right on their doorstep.’’
In its first year, the Painting Daisy program is already running in 14 schools around northern Victoria.
At the end of the program in October, winning schools and student teams will be awarded.
Students will be in the running for a $200 prize for best painted cow, $200 for best good news story and $200 for funniest class photo.
The project is funded by the UDV and managed by Jaydee Events.