By Derek Schlennstedt
Harold the giraffe visited Woori Yallock on 4 August, to the many screams of adoring students and teachers.
Woori Yallock Primary School also held a pyjama party where students attended in their pyjamas and Harold joined them for breakfast – the most important meal of the day.
Also appearing for the first time at Woori Yallock primary was fully grown Harold, who hugged and shared the love with kids.
Oliver Thockloth, principal at Woori Yallock Primary, said the program had been an enduring part of the school and each year they invited the friendly giraffe back, due to the learning programs they offered and the joy Harold brought to the children.
“We promote it every year by having a special breakfast that Harold attends – kids come in their pyjamas, teacher cooks them breaky, and while there eating their breaky Harold comes and visits,” he said.
Life Education is the largest, independent, Australian, health and drug education provider for school children aged 5-13 years and their most famous representative to spread the message is Harold the giraffe, who has been doing it for over 37 years.
The Life Education van usually features a puppet called Harold the giraffe however this time students were able to see Harold as they’d never seen him before, standing upright and over seven feet tall.
“When they’re in the life-ed van, the lady that runs it tells them a story about Harold living under the van somewhere and then she brings out Harold, and the kids get to talk tp Harold,” Mr Thockloth said.
“They hadn’t seen the big Harold before and I did have a student that said to me that Harold had really grown.”
The learning programs cover everything from healthy living, to drugs and even cyber bullying.
In May funding was cut from the Life Education program by the Federal Government, however it was reinstated following strong social media backlash.
Mr Thockloth said they had already booked Harold for next year and hoped funding would continue into the future.
“I hope the funding continues because it’s a great program and the engagement for the kids is fantastic.”
“We’ve already booked for next year.”