When Toowoomba teacher Lisa-Marie Preston first heard of the Healthy Harold Hundred challenge she saw it as an opportunity to spread education to help stamp out bullying in her community.
Alongside the guidance counsellor from her school, Jasmin, they formed the Teachers United team to set an example for their students and challenge themselves for the 20-day event in May.
With her husband and two ‘fur children’ as her biggest cheerleaders for the challenge, she has been clocking up the kilometres each day towards her 100K target.
“I signed up for the Healthy Harold Hundred because as a school teacher, I see and hear stories of bullying far too often from various areas of my life,” says Lisa-Marie.
“I view this challenge as a metaphor for life. Things can be tough, overwhelming and challenging for example, exercise, but if you push through and look for the good in every situation then it’s all worth it.
“I wanted to inspire my students to be positive, see the good in the toughest of situations and be active for their body and mind.
“We all have a story of knowing someone who felt helpless due to bullying and the consequence of this feeling for them and their family. Growing up in a small town, I also experienced bullying in the form of exclusion. Unfortunately, I played the role of a bystander too!”
Education is fundamental to bullying prevention
Having experienced the Life Education program as a young student and again as a teacher, Lisa-Marie understands the feeling of wonder and excitement the program holds for children.
“The feeling of walking in and seeing that starry roof; oh, the nostalgia,” says Lisa-Marie.
“It really laid the platform of feeling comfortable within a space to accept the messages being shared. The educators, with the support of Healthy Harold do an amazing job of delivering important messages to students in an inclusive and engaging way.”
Lisa-Marie believes fundraising to enable Life Education Queensland to extend its cybersafety and respectful relationships programs is vital for today’s primary school students.
“With the introduction of technology, bullying has taken on another platform, and for lots of children it can feel like there’s no escape from the bully. We need to be up-skilling our children and parents and this is one important way that we can go about it.”
You can check out Lisa-Marie’s progress and donate to her challenge here today or you can donate to their Teachers United team page here.