Learning through lunch

More than 250 children from primary schools in Corio and Norlane were recently taken on an innovative excursion – an experience in fine dining at the Davidson Restaurant of The Gordon Institute of TAFE.

The program, called Learning through Lunch, was organised by Ardoch Youth Foundation, an Australian charity that provides education support for children and young people in communities where resources are limited.

Ardoch has been partnering with early year services and schools in Geelong’s northern suburbs for eight years. It provides educational volunteers to support children’s literacy, numeracy and engagement with learning and also creates opportunities for the children to broaden their horizons through excursions, new activities and engagement with community and corporate volunteers as positive role models.

Learning through Lunch was created in Geelong in 2012 after a teacher approached Ardoch’s Education Programs Co-ordinator about creating an experience for his students that would challenge their everyday expectations and provide them with valuable life skills.

In collaboration with The Gordon Institute of TAFE, Ardoch developed an inspiring learning experience to take place at The Davidson Restaurant. The program introduces them to new experiences and food that they may never have tried before.

For many children, it is their first experience of fine dining. To help them, Ardoch recruits corporate, philanthropic and community volunteers, who mentor and support them through the experience, while also talking to them about their aspirations, dreams and ways to achieve them.

The program has been so well received it has now been rolled out in other parts of Victoria.

Ardoch’s strongest partnership is with the Davidson Restaurant, which helped to develop the original program and provides inspiring learning experiences for students from Corio and Norlane each year.

For more information on how Ardoch’s programs support the community, contact Mark Campbell Education Partnerships Co-ordinator at mark.campbell@ardoch.org.au.