Maryborough West State School prep to Year 2 students had fun at the interactive Laurie Lawrence Kids Alive Pantomime which was performed by the performing arts students from Aldridge State High School.
Maryborough West State School prep to Year 2 students had fun at the interactive Laurie Lawrence Kids Alive Pantomime which was performed by the performing arts students from Aldridge State High School. Boni Holmes

School students help with safety message

THE cheers from hundreds of young students were deafening as they were treated to pantomime that delivered one of the state's biggest safety messages.

Aldridge State High School performing arts and early childhood learning students worked together to bring Lawrie Lawrence Kids Alive, Do the Five Pantomime Day to Prep-Year 2 students from West, St Helens, Granville Primary Schools and the Maryborough Central Early Learning Centre's pupils.

ASHS teacher Stacey Mewman said she had seen a similar show at Gin Gin High and thought it was an amazing message about water safety.

"I was a new mum at the time and it resonated more with me having a small child," she said.

"I planted the seed at school at the end of last year.

"I didn't want it to be too big but wanted to give our kids the opportunity to rehearse and put on a show.

"The fact the the Kids Alive opportunity is available, they are presenting the official Lawrie Lawrence pantomime and they got to wear some of the official mascot costumes.

"It was about getting kids from primary schools to come and see the show and spread the message as far as they can."

Performing arts student Jesse Lange said the show's message was an important one.

"We have done this to raise awareness to not only kids but parents and teachers to really understand water safety is extremely important in especially in today's generation," Jesse said.

"People are oblivious to how important swimming really is."

Drama student Kayla Whiting said the production also illustrated that they did other stuff out of school and broadens their ideas about what they can do in the future.

Ms Mewman said the production had required a big team effort but was well worth it.

"It is an important message for the kids attending but it is important for everyone, every adult, parent, person, just that little reminder of the five safety messages," she said.

"Fence the pool, shut the gate, teach your kids to swim, it's great, supervise, watch your mate and learn how to resusitate.

"They are so simple but it is a little refresher.

"If it is going to save one kid's life, then it has been worth putting it on."

Ms Mewman gave special thanks to Fraser Coast councillors Daniel Sanderson and Paul Truscott who allocated discretionary funds to support the production.

Cr Truscott attended the event and said he had thought the performers were from the Lawrie Lawrence program.

"Councillors Daniel Sanderson and I used some of our discretionary funds to assist the Aldridge school to get buses to bring students from other schools across Maryborough to be here for the day," he said.

"We both appreciate how important safety round the water is and it is paramount that kids learn and have an understanding of this.

"I genuinely believed they were from the Lawrie Lawrence program, they were that good.

"It was wonderful and they did a terrific job. I really hope the kids have learnt it and being in Queensland, water safety is an absolute necessity."

"Really happy to have supported this program."

The performance was supported by a series of activity stations overseen by the early childhood learning students.

Early childhood teacher Debra Gillespie said they had different stations based around play-based learning.

"It is the first time we have conducted anything like this," she said.

"They came up with the ideas for the stations and were working with the children.

"The students were having real-life experiences and seeing their activities implemented. In schools it is important for students to learn about early childhood.

"It is great that the two faculties, performing arts and early childhood, are working together. It is a good opportunity for the students."

Almost 300 students from St Helens, West, Maryborough Central Early Learning Centre and Granville State School attended the two sessions.

Year 11 early childhood learning students Olivia Irvine said it had been a fun activity.

"It has been a great hands-on experience and really good to see all the children happy," she said.

Fellow Year 11 student Emily Griffin said the overriding aim was to help keep kids safe.

"We are assisting in their education with the water safety messages," she said.

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