THE Upper Hunter community embraced the second annual Positive Education Day with flying colours this week.
The initiative was launched in 2018 by the Where There's a Will Foundation (WTAW) in conjunction with Positive Education Schools Association (PESA) and aims to highlight the role positive education can play in improving wellbeing and mental health in students.
Through gold coin donations, it also aspires to raise funds for disadvantaged schools to implement Positive Education (Pos Ed) programs.
The theme of Positive Education Day is Colour Your Threads for Pos Ed and while some Upper Hunter schools were a sea of colour on Monday, November 4, others attended wearing a blank canvas and returned home dripping in all the shades of the rainbow after participating in colour fun runs.
WTAW co-founder Pauline Carrigan said she was very excited that the Upper Hunter schools had really got behind the day.
"When WTAW began we were an Upper Hunter charity, and everything we do remains in the Upper Hunter," she explained.
"And, we were worried about all the other schools who wanted to follow us.
"So, we asked for a national day and the government gazetted us the 4th of November annually for Colour Your Threads for Pos Ed."
After just one year the initiative has gone global.
Thanks to a push by the International Positive Education Network (IPEN), schools in Dubai and Singapore will also be colouring their threads also.
Mrs Carrigan said while schools accepted gold coin donations this year, donations were voluntary, due to the current drought.
"We thought this was one of those years where we would just celebrate positive education rather than try to raise money," she said.
"Any monies that are raised go into an account and teachers can apply for different types of positive education programs that furthers their knowledge on positive education that they can go and implement in their schools.
"It's for disadvantaged schools that wouldn't be able to do this unless they received assistance.
"Last year was our first and we sent five teachers to the national PESA conference and, in 2019, I'd say we will probably double that."
The initiative has also been backed by IPEN and staff at Melbourne University.
"It's really a day to start putting pressure on the government," Mrs Carrigan said.
"These kids are saying this is what we want - come and help us now."