Students ham it up and learn life skills

Year two and three students from Lismore Heights Public School with (l-r) teacher Chris McNall, IGA Goonellabah store owner Garry Dawson and IGA store manager Ann Pryor.

Finding out how the ham got in the sandwich is one of many behind-the-scenes insights students from Lismore Heights Public School enjoyed during a recent tour of IGA Goonellabah.

They also watched the IGA butcher make mince meat from a side of beef before perusing the aisles of the supermarket for some price comparisons of their favourite foods.

The lessons in food preparation and shopping are part of a Products and Services unit the students study at school, with the aim of educating children from a young age about food processing, production and cost.

The idea is that the children learn about family spending and budgeting and where the money goes each week, said Lismore Heights Public School assistant principal, Chris McNall. This supermarket experience helps increase their financial literacy.

IGA Goonellabah store manager Ann Pryor said they wanted to give the kids a practical tour and make it fun, so the lessons learnt stuck with them. Pauls Milk and David and Therese Cross from Tip Top Bread were happy to sponsor the event.

We do this for the kids, not for us, said Ann. What worries me is that children today want instant gratification and expect everything right now. They have no concept of food production at all and we think its really important that they learn where food comes from and that meals dont just magically appear on the table. That there is a whole range of processes involved before they eat that ham sandwich.

Ms McNall said the hands-on experience would give the class a lot to talk about in their Products and Services unit, and hopefully more than a few will really get the message next time mum or dad says we cant afford it.

IGA also has an ongoing commitment to supporting local school children by running a Community Support Program, which raises money for local schools and preschools.

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