PeeKdesigns established the Enviro-Stories program in 2009 because we are passionate about bringing children’s stories to life. By combining literacy, science and sustainability, this program not only supports student learning about their local area but it is also aligned to core curriculum outcomes. For teachers who want to go that extra mile, students can gain confidence in public speaking as they promote their books to their school, a sister/brother school and/or the community.
Through the valuable support of our sponsors, we have been able to bring Enviro-Stories to schools in regional New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria. Since its establishment, the Enviro-Stories program has produced more than 250 student written and illustrated books and well over 70,000 copies distributed to schools and communities across the regions where the program has been run. This is a massive achievement for all the teachers, parents, students, sponsors and other contributors to this innovative program.
We hope that continued support for the program will see it spread across new regions of this wonderful and story-inspiring country.
We (Peter and Kelly) are not only partners in business, but also partners in life. Having met many years ago in outback Northern Territory, we have migrated together across Queensland, New South Wales and have now settled in the beautiful East Gippsland region of Victoria. Through our travels around Australia we have many, many stories to tell about the places we’ve seen and the people we’ve met. We know the value of storytelling and the visual imagery it creates within the audience. It is our passion of the Australian environment, in all its shapes, sizes, colours, smells and people, that keeps inspiring us to teach others and help them generate their own unique experiences.
Peter established PeeKdesigns in 2008 to provide environmental education engagement opportunities for organisations and is always ensuring the best possible results are achieved for our sponsors, program participants and suppliers.
His teaching experiences provide him with strong leadership and mentoring skills and the ability to compile easy-to-use education kits for Enviro-stories program where technical information is interpreted for students and teachers. Peter has also been editing children’s stories for Enviro-Stories since its inception in 2009.
Senior Environmental Education Consultant
Kelly has a background in terrestrial ecology, coastal management and photography. She has used these skills to provide technical advice, support and expertise in the planning, development and designing of education, extension and interpretive materials for many projects. Kelly plays a key role in developing the education resources for Enviro-Stories.
Kelly has used her creative drive to become an established graphic designer. Her strength in this field allows her to create and interpret the childrens’ stories and illustrations to compile the hundreds of books created as part of Enviro-Stories.
When presenting students with their published book you never get tired of the surprised looks on students faces. They never quite understand just what it means to be a published author. It is only until later that the reality sinks in and they are genuinely grateful for the opportunity to be involved in Enviro-Stories. Here are just a few of our stories.
We had arrived at the school assembly early to present students with their certificates and to award one lucky student with their book. The acting Principal quietly told us that the winning student struggled with literacy in class and she got limited support at home. Yet here we were presenting this child with a literacy award. Knowing this before going up on stage to present the awards made the next few minutes very special.
The students’ whole family showed up for the presentation. They were extremely proud of their daughter, granddaughter, sister and niece. She even read her story out loud to the entire assembly, something which was a challenge for her, but a challenge she overcame.
We had worked with this school with multiple projects over the year and knew the students well. When it came down to announcing the winner all the students guessed it was one of two girls (there were only 20 students in the whole school). All the students cheered when they found out who it was.
She was asked to read her story so that everyone could hear what she had written. So she sat down with all the students milled around her and she became the teacher, showing the pictures around slowly after each page so that everyone could see. No one suggested she do this, it was automatic. It was truly a turning point in how these little books can help other young minds learn about and enjoy the world around them.
Many children tell us that they can’t write a story. They don’t know what to talk about, what their characters will be and it becomes a real hurdle to get the creativity flowing. When running workshops for the “Our Farmers, Our Future” Enviro-Stories program we encountered this a lot.
When asking the children “What happened on your farm when the floods came through?” they couldn’t hold back the many tales they could tell. At the end of each tale, we reminded the students that they just told us a story, a really good story, and encouraged them to start writing it down. This led to some wonderful stories that truly came from the heart. Personal experiences inspire us and educate us; Enviro-Stories is just a way to pass these experiences on to the next generation.