Tasmanian children missing out on regular after-school activities during the coronavirus crisis will be given the chance to benefit from fun home-based learning activities.
The Peter Underwood Centre is offering families access to resources to help keep children engaged and entertained outside of their structured schoolwork.
The resources will also assist more than 1000 students who participate in Children’s University Tasmania, which aims to ignite a passion for learning in young people.
Members receive a Passport to Learning and earn stamps by participating in a variety of learning opportunities, including out of hours activities at their schools, access to more than a 1000 validated Learning Destinations around the state and school holiday programs.
Once they have reached the required number of hours, they graduate from Children’s University.
Peter Underwood Centre director Professor Natalie Brown said participating children would continue to receive stamps for the home-based activities, and the resources would be made available to all families.
This includes a newspaper, The Wonder Weekly, filled with ideas and activities for many hours of learning.
“The Wonder Weekly is being made available to all Tasmanian children and young people via the Peter Underwood Centre website and Facebook site, and is now being printed and distributed by Woolworths Supermarkets,” Professor Brown said.
In one edition, BirdLife Tasmania offered children the opportunity to become citizen scientists by observing the birds in their backyards.
While last week a character called Professor Finn, a caricature of a red handfish, was introduced to readers.
As well as leading the learning fun, Professor Finn will raise awareness of the work of researchers, including those at the University’s Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) to prevent the extinction of possibly the rarest fish on the planet.
The Centre will be working with its many partners to produce the publication, but it is inviting anyone who runs suitable learning activities to share them via by emailing: UnderwoodCentre.Enquiries@utas.edu.au
The team at the Underwood Centre are also working on a weekly live stream for children and young people, UCTV Alive for Kids.
Last year more than 500 children graduated from The Children’s University of Tasmania at five ceremonies around the state. The program has been expanding, thanks in part to the support it receives from organisations and individuals.
This includes: The Tasmanian Community Fund; the Queenstown and Districts Community Bank Branch of Bendigo Bank; Communities for Children - South East Tasmania (Salvation Army); Queenstown community leaders Chris and Lee Walpole; Rotary and, most recently, the Huon Valley Community Bank branches.
To find out more about the program visit the Peter Underwood Centre website.