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Harold the Giraffe embraces the digital age

Harold the Giraffe has a newly outfitted mobile classroom that is designed to utilise modern technology.

Life Education, the non-profit organisation behind Harold the Giraffe, teaches health to 245,000 primary and intermediate school children every year. The organisation is invited into schools and is linked into the school curriculum.

The mobile classroom is equipped with sight and sound equipment ‘designed to capture children’s imaginations’.

Life Education Trust, Thames-Coromandel, Hauraki and Waihi amalgamated with Matamata-Piako to refit the classroom to be more in sync with the digital age, the organisation said in a statement.

The interactive technology uses Microsoft Kinect to allow children to manipulate the images on screen, and fully engage with the learning experience.

The upgrade of the 44 mobile classrooms around the country will cost a total of $1.8 million.

David Hammond, Thames-Coromandel's chief executive, met with the Life Education Trust Chair Keith Trembath and Board Member Bruce Smith on the mobile unit, where educator Rachel Johnstone put the new technology through its paces.

"The Life Education Trust is a real community initiative. With support from Council and sponsorship from local businesses they can continue to educate local children on a range of topics related to their health and well-being," says Hammond.

Murphy's Buses are one such example of community sponsorship, having moved the classroom between schools free of charge since the first school visit to Ngatea Primary in February 2000.

The mobile classroom is in the Coromandel until the end of March.