The Kids as Catalyst program is a schools-based program that equips children aged 8-12 with the skills to identify and solve real problems facing their community, through creative and collaborative projects. It is a two-phase, 16-week social action program where children begin their work in the classroom and then step out into the community to lead local change.
Kids as Catalyst is delivered throughout Victoria, and linked to the Victorian Curriculum.
Kids as Catalyst 2019
The program is currently in its second year at Northern Bay College in Geelong. 200 students are working on local issues ranging from welcoming new migrants to protecting endangered wildlife, putting into practice values such as gratitude, kindness, giving and volunteering. Students from the Hendy, Tallis, Wexford and Peacock campuses are taking part in terms two and three.
Below: Listen to what two of the Northern Bay College teachers had to say when we caught up with them at the teacher training day.
About the Kids as Catalyst program
Children can thrive when we acknowledge their capacity to lead local change.
Building skills for life
Kids as Catalyst calls for early engagement, new ideas, respectful community partnerships, and recognises children as vibrant catalysts for positive change. We ask children to reflect on their personal values, and teach them how to conceive, design and implement real-life, philanthropic projects.
The skills developed by children in the program go beyond numeracy and literacy bench-marking to introduce project management, leadership and communication skills. Participants forge partnerships with local volunteers, charities and community organisations; ‘pitch’ community projects to a formidable panel of local community leaders; develop budgets and manage finances; and then deliver their unique community projects.
Young students build deep community connections and deliver tangible, real-world results of which they are justifiably proud. Kids as Catalyst activates and inspires children to take an ongoing interest in community action and social justice.
Leadership and resilience
Kids Thrive collaborates with children as active members of their community, unearthing the issues they care about, and supporting them to make a real impact. Kids as Catalyst develops a sense of engaged citizenship in children, building a strong foundation for a resilient society.
Kids Thrive deliver weekly training in schools over two terms. Schools commit to a weekly 90-minute class, in a designated room with weekly follow up in class for required actions, and attendance of the participating class to two community engagement events.
- Activating children as major contributors to and creators of community
- Fostering children’s resilience, leadership, and entrepreneurship
- Building and embracing leadership opportunities for children in their schools and communities
- Developing children’s passion for social justice, and capacity to drive community change
- Strengthening connections between schools and communities
- Developing children’s literacy, budgeting, and financial management skills
‘I realise that I can make a change now. I can talk to adults and they will listen to me. I thought I had to be older to do that. Kids can make a difference now.’ Student, grade 5
‘I saw many young people who were inspirational, passionate about helping others, were highly articulate and skilled to make a profound difference. I felt moved, touched and proud at what each group presented and had learnt through this exceptional program.’ Melina Maranville, Principal, Ivanhoe East Primary School
The 2019 Kids as Catalyst program is delivered in partnership with,
The William Buckland Foundation | Geelong Community Foundation | Sidney Myer Fund | Give Where You Live Geelong | Victorian Department of Education and Training | Equity Trustees | Communities That Care | Australian Government Department of Social Services | Deakin University | Northern Bay College | WCF Thomas Charitable Trust
Previous program Partners
Geelong Region – Northern Bay College, Geelong
Benalla Region – Benalla P-12 College | Tomorrow Today Foundation
Wyndham Region – Our Lady of the Southern Cross Primary School | Wyndham Park Primary School | The Smith Family
Goldfields Region – Maldon Primary School
Victorian Department of Education & Training | VicHealth | Sidney Myer Fund | The William Buckland Foundation
Helen Macpherson Smith Trust | Newsboys Foundation | Collier Charitable Fund | W.C.F. Thomas Charitable Trust
University of Melbourne School of Population and Global Health – The Jack Brockhoff Child Health and Wellbeing Program
2017 Program Outcomes
- 2017 Kids as Catalyst Evaluation Report
- 2017 Kids as Catalyst – Benalla Region Evaluation Report
- 2017 Kids as Catalyst – Goldfields Region Evaluation Report
- 2017 Kids as Catalyst – Wyndham Region Evaluation Report