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Edendale School Wins ACC's Top Prize

Edendale School takes ACC's LOOK OUT FOR EACH OTHER top prize

A "Tricky Tracks" project that has made crossing local railway tracks safer for pedestrians has propelled Southland's Edendale Primary School into the top spot in the ACC's 2004 ThinkSafe LOOK OUT FOR EACH OTHER school safety competition.

Edendale took the Supreme Award as well as winning the top prize in the Primary/Intermediate School's section.

The project by its Sting Reading Team of five Year 4 children identified safety concerns such as large shrubs obstructing the visibility of oncoming trains and large potholes at crossings that were a danger to bikes and baby buggies.

The competition's judges said the children brainstormed possible solutions and came up with approaches that included talking to the school principal, local police, and another school that was using safety vests.

The children also got advice from an engineer at the local council and approached Toll Dunedin Locomotives and Fonterra, as well as successfully lobbying the local community board to fund the required work.

First Prize in the Early Childhood section was won first equal by Stoke Kindergarten and Cambridge Kindergarten.

Stoke Kindergarten identified that children and parents could improve their road crossing practices when arriving and leaving the kindergarten. Parents and residents were surveyed, safety education was provided and the local council improved signage and checked the area for possible roading improvements.

Cambridge Kindergarten also found that road safety education for parents and children was desirable and devised three simple and effective road signs to remind parents to "Use the door on the footpath side", "Always buckle a child in" and "Link hands to cross the road".

Third Prize in the Early Childhood category was taken by Auckland's Whiteacres Kindergarten for a project to make children's play trolleys safer. In the Primary/Intermediate category, Invercargill's Rimu Full Primary School came second to Edendale School with a project by Year 5 pupils that devised safety rules and tested various containers in an effort to reduce scalds and burns from hot noodles eaten at school.

Third prize in the Primary/Intermediate category went to last year's Supreme Winner, Papakura's Alfriston School, for a safety project that helps parents and teachers keep track of students in and around water.

Judges were so impressed with the "ThinkJack" entry from Manukau School that they agreed to present a special Inclusiveness in Action Award for measures aimed at making the school environment safer for Jack, a child with a growth disability.

The winners receive prizes of $3000 for first place, $2000 for second place and $1000 for third place.

Edendale Primary School receive an additional $2000 for being first overall.

In addition 21 merit prizes of $500 will be awarded.

The winners were selected by a judging panel consisting of:  Dr Joy Cullen - Professor of Early Childhood education at Massey University.  Mr Chris Haines - President of the School Trustees Association.  James Whitaker – ACC Programme Manager, Schools.

The major prizes were presented by the Minister for ACC, the Hon Ruth Dyson, at a ceremony at Parliament on Monday, 8 November.

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