Published on 29 August by McPherson Media Group at MMG Online.
This article also appeared in print in Shepparton News.
Toni interned at Shepparton News in August, 2013.
Budding entrepreneurs have been busily distributing their new line of environmentally friendly grocery bags to Rushworth shops this week.
The Year 12 VCAL class at Rushworth P-12 College has been working hard on the project as part of the school’s literacy program.
After researching the environmental impact of plastic shopping bags, the students took up the challenge to create an alternative for local shoppers.
‘‘We are leading the way to make the community more environmentally friendly,’’ Melissa Brown said.
‘‘We hope to cut down the use of plastic bags in our area.
‘‘We think our community will jump at the opportunity to create less waste and support us in our efforts.’’
The calico bags, which the students sourced from an art supply wholesaler, were hand-decorated with the school’s logo and a slogan promoting the group’s message for the community: Go Green.
College VCAL teacher Dianne Nobbs said the students displayed impressive initiative and teamwork skills during the project.
‘‘I think the kids were surprised about how open the community were to helping,’’ Mrs Nobbs said.
‘‘The kids thought we were going to be rejected, but it was the opposite.’’
But unlike other product developers, the Rushworth students said they were not aiming to make a profit.
The $2.50 charge a bag would cover production costs and fund the next batch of bags.
‘‘The kids’ reward will be if they see someone walking down the street in two years’ time carrying one of those bags,’’ Mrs Nobbs said.
Mrs Nobbs said the project was designed to build students’ literacy skills in a practical way.
She said practical, real world learning was a key component of the VCAL program.
‘‘We basically thought we’d take literacy out of the classroom and into the community,’’ she said.
‘‘This had been a practical way to demonstrate the literacy skills and their communication skills.’’
Go Green bags cost $2.50 each and can be bought at Rushworth IGA, Rushworth Pharmacy and Harris Gifts and Variety store.