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Collingwood English Language School & The Song Room WIN Impact Award for outstanding partnership

Schools First Impact Award Winners in VIC, TAS, NT and QLD were announced in September 2010. The Song Room & Collingwood English Language School were one of partnerships awarded with $50,000 towards the continued development of their successful school-community partnership.

‘Schools First’ is brought to life by NAB in partnership with the Foundation for Young Australians (FYA) and Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER). Launched in October 2008 by current Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Schools First is a national awards program pledging $15 million over three years.

The Song Room has been delivering its programs to Collingwood English Language School (CELS) since 2005, so it was a huge win for CELS to be able to sustain such a beneficial program through the receipt of this funding. A celebration was held at the school on 6th October 2010, where the children sang with Teaching Artist Sheldon King to a full audience of peers, parents and friends. NAB Fitzroy Branch Manager presented the $50,000 cheque to Principal Ms Laima Novackis and The Song Room’s Director of Programs, Deborah Nicolson.

The Song Room programs support schools within low socio economic areas that have a large population of students that come from disadvantaged backgrounds. In this partnership children in an intensive English program work with The Song Room’s Teaching Artist to build literacy and social skills through music. Activities include the creation of original songs using vocabulary from the classroom, incorporating dance and movement into the original student-created songs, exploring music, rhymes and games from the students’ countries of origin, and creating and composing music.

What the judges said:

This proven and valuable partnership is providing benefits to all involved. The strong professional learning opportunities for school staff will continue to benefit future students of the school and help ensure an ongoing legacy from the partnership.”

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