The St Augustine's your move Team read about about PARK(ing) Day in the your Move Term 3 newsletter and thought it would be a wonderful event to hold at St Augustine's Primary as useable space is a major issue at our school. The idea of PARK(ing) Day is to showcase to communities that if we reduce our reliance on cars (and the space they require to park), we can make more space available for useable public space - i.e. PARK-land. At St Augustine's we don't have any of our own land for parking, all of the parking that our families use is street parking administered by the City of Belmont. Luckily we have an extremely supportive contact at the City of Belmont in Crawford Connell. Crawford happily took our request to the City on our behalf and arranged permission for us to usurp 4 of the City's parking spaces for the day.
After obtaining permission it was time to hold a planning meeting, in the meeting it was decided that we would move two park benches and some pot plants from the school grounds into the parking bays. The students also wanted to set up a classroom in the space - they envision classes taking turns to come out and use the park during the day.
We advertised the event in the school newsletter, the parents and friends facebook page and on parent communication app. We encouraged families to leave the car at home and use active travel to get to and from school to help celebrate the day.
On the morning of the event it was an early start for the your move team and parents helpers. Luckily we had help from some enthusiastic students who had arrived early. We banded together to create the space. It was all hands on deck to have the space ready before the majority of the school started arriving. When we had finished preparing the space, it looked amazing!
Soon the rest of the students started to arrive and they were extremely excited to have a new play space available for them. No one seemed concerned that there were less spaces available for cars. A few students asked if we were going to keep it this way for good?
During the day the staff took turns to bring their classes out to the new space - music lessons, Italian and silent reading were all held in the PARK classroom.
At the end of the day, when it was time to pack away, the your move team was inundated with volunteers to help with the task. Many students told us that they were so grateful to have been able to spend some time outdoors during the school day. The Teachers had fantastic feedback too and were amazed at how much space we were able to make from the 4 car bays. We hope to bring this back next year as it is a great way to learn about environmental sustainability.
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