Share Our Space springs into action for holidays

Families across NSW took advantage of an innovative program that allows communities to access school facilities during term breaks.

Image: Howzat: Cricket NSW at Bexley North Public School

The Share Our Space program continues to bring families and communities into our schools during term break.

During the recent Spring school holidays, 497 schools - 170 schools in regional areas and 326 schools in Sydney - participated in Share Our Space, opening up their school gates to the community.

Through Share Our Space, community members can use the outdoor facilities of schools in NSW during holidays for a wide range of activities, from sports and recreation to cultural events and celebrations.

By giving the wider community access to public schools, the Department of Education is enabling community to build connections with its schools and foster a sense of ownership of the schools.

In the lead-up to the school holidays, the Share Our Space team works closely with schools, local councils, not-for-profits and other government agencies to provide a range of free activities for the community to enjoy.

Around 20 free activities were provided at schools including football, cricket, laughing yoga and other sporting activities.

The benefits Share Our Space brings are felt across the community, particularly in lower socioeconomic areas and rural areas.

Liverpool Plains Shire Council community development and events officer Tracy McFarlane said that through Share Our Space 55 students in smaller villages within the shire were able to access the school holiday program in their local areas.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed being able to contribute to the positive change associated with rural isolation and the mental health of our young people through the school holiday program and support of Share Our Space,” Ms McFarlane said.

“Children who were able to attend the gem-hunting activity were engaging with different social circles to trade gems. A wonderful ice breaker in creating new hobbies and more importantly, friendships.”

The Share Our Space team is already organising activities for the summer school holidays and keen to see more schools get involved.

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