Kids as Catalysts – how it works

How it works

Stage 1 – Students identify local issues they care about

Working with Kids Thrive facilitators and NBC teachers, the kids form teams and identify the issues that they wanted to see improved in their communities. They chose:

  • Elderly isolation
  • Environmental sustainability
  • New arrivals support
  • All abilities sports
  • Food-related projects
  • Animal welfare
  • Inclusive communities
  • Homelessness

Stage 2 – Build partnerships with local charities and community groups

Students identify community connections – who do they already know who might help them with their project? Which organisations are already working on this issue and could help? Then, with the support of facilitators and teachers, they hop on the phone! Not everyone says yes, but 28 community organisations and volunteer groups agree to partner with the Kids as Catalysts teams, including:

  • Humans in Geelong
  • Marine Discovery Centre
  • Geelong Cats
  • Cloverdale Community Centre
  • Elf Squad
  • Lara Mens’ Shed
  • Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-op
  • Geelong City Council – The Fort

Stage 3 – Co-design, plan and budget community change projects

Then it’s time to work through the step-by-step process of developing a community change project. Teams work together – drawing on the strengths of each individual – to create:

  • Goals
  • Timeline
  • Budget

Stage 4 – Pitch to a panel of school and community leaders for real money

Time to get creative! Teams prepare their pitch presentations to secure the money to deliver their projects. They are empowered to be big, bright, colourful, bold – and confident! In 2019, 12 community leaders joined the program as panellists, to assess each pitch and decide if they should receive the funding they asked for. Panellists included representatives from:

  • City of Greater Geelong
  • Victoria Police
  • Northern Bay College
  • Australian Department of Health and Human Services
  • Communities that Care
  • William Buckland Foundation
  • Deakin University
  • Australian Department of Social Services

Below: Pitch days in full swing at Northern Bay College

 

Read: More than $8,000 granted to Geelong students for community change projects

Stage 5 – Implement these projects

This is where the rubber hits the road – students get out into the community and deliver their projects. They extend their community networks even further, meeting new people in the organisations and community spaces they are working in. They deliver real benefits to real people. They have first-hand experience of making a difference. They made it happen!

Below: the Helpful Kids worked with the Geelong Food Relief centre to create a child play area for kids visiting the centre with their parents.

Below: the Mural Makers worked with Wexford Community Hub to create a welcome mural for visitors to the school.

Below: the Elder Helpers worked with the Salvation Army to create hygiene packs for the elderly.

 

Stage 6 – Showcase to the community

This is the students’ time to shine! The teams come together – community partners, students and anyone else involved in the projects, to show VIP guests, family, friends, school mates and teachers the outcomes and successes of their hard work.

The 2019 Kids as Catalysts Showcase was held at the Geelong Cats Stadium in the Presidents Room. Hundreds of students, community leaders and members of the public attended. It was an enormous celebration of the power of child-led, positive community change.

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