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The veggie challenge is ON at Good Shepherd College!   Year 7 students at Good Shepherd College are busy nurturing their patches this term as they vie for the title of champion of the second Veggie Patch Challenge.   The Veggie Patch challenge idea came about late in 2019, with last year’s year 7 cohort participating in the first ever challenge running throughout term 4. Students form groups and are delegated space in a garden bed to plant and care for their crops throughout the term before the best vegetables are judged and sold at a mini Vegetable Show and market stall at the end of term. There are two year 7 classes at Good Shepherd, so one class does the Challenge in term 1 and the other does it in term 4. Co-ordinator Emma Weatherly says the students both last term and this term have been very engaged in the challenge, ‘students are very engaged in the competition’, she says, ‘They love the outdoor action learning, and good prizes from generous local businesses such as the Ladybug Nursery have been a great incentive.”. It’s not only students that are keen on seeing their seedlings grow to the greatest of heights, families are also on board with the challenge, ‘We have had parents delivering bags of sheep poo to school and students bringing in extra seeds from home to try and give their vegie patch an edge over other teams’, Emma said.                   Good Shepherd have added the vegetable show and market stall to the end of the challenge period this year to celebrate the student’s efforts and crown challenge winners. The team at Good Shepherd warmly welcomes any donations of prizes for the challenge from local businesses keen to support the students in building their knowledge and teamwork skills. If you can help, get in touch with Emma at eweatherly@gsc.vic.edu.au or contact the school on 5571 2595

We all know screens are no good for our children, in large doses they can do more damage than you think to kids physical and psychosocial health and wellbeing, as well as their academic outcomes.   Local data tells us screen time is a growing problem across Southern Grampians (statistics to come!).  The National screen time recommendation for children aged 5-17 years is less than 2 hrs per day, excluding any time spent behind a screen for education purposes. Do your children meet the recommended dose?   Deakin University's Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition have put together a great blog around how to start managing screen time from the get-go this school year, build better habits from the start!   Read their best tips here - https://blogs.deakin.edu.au/ipan/2020/01/28/back-to-school-managing-screen-time-at-home/?fbclid=IwAR2BIyTt_drpn9B3tZ-q0b92xhukNVI-8DB1y0BlvkAppYcszokjuTru2rw   What strategies do you use to limit screen time in your household?  Let us know! Jump on the GenR8 Change Facebook page, or flick an email to ebony.jenkins@wdhs.net - we'd love to be able to share some of your tips!  

The internal Wellbeing and Environmental Sustainability Working Group at Western District Health Service have recently trialled a WDHS Food Swap.   In late December, the first (hopefully of many!) food swap was held for staff and volunteers. The WDHS community was encouraged to meet to share homemade, home grown and foraged goods with each other. Food Swaps are a super way to broaden your pantry and diet, get rid of surplus foods you may have grown or made yourself (bulk zucchinis ring a bell?), be mindful of food miles, pick up tips around growing your own and connect with others. The first swap at WDHS during the week before Christmas was a success. The group plan to make the Swaps monthly events this year. Organiser Jacinta Wareham said she was thrilled with the range of contributions people brought along, which included vegetables, herbs, fruit, floral arrangements, eggs, egg cartons, seeds and recipes. “And I loved the conversations that flowed around the room – ‘what plant is that? What do you do with it? .What can I cook with this?’ It was really great to see the inventiveness of people who didn’t necessarily have a productive vegetable garden, but found other ways that they could contribute. Our motto is ‘take what you need, give what you can’. And don’t forget to bring a bag!”   Could your workplace, school or sporting club benefit from hosting a food swap? You might be surprised at what hidden talents lay within your community! To learn more about how Western District Health Service have started their swaps, get in touch at hello@genr8change.com