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.
This is our recipe for a successful Enviro-Stories program. We hope you find the results as delightful as we do.
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.
The word “PeeKdesigns” represents: Peter and Kelly’s Environmental Education Designs. It began in 2008 when we were asked to prepare a flying fox education kit and PeeKdesigns was born. For more information about PeeKdesigns, check out the website www.peekdesigns.com.au.
Manager and Enviro-Stories Coordinator
Peter established PeeKdesigns in 2008 to provide environmental education engagement opportunities for organisations. As business owner and manager, Peter is always ensuring that the best possible results are achieved for the client.
His teaching experiences provide him with strong leadership and mentoring skills. His role as the Enviro-Stories Program Coordinator uses his natural project management and negotiation skills to successfully coordinate large scale projects to time and budget with positive results for clients, suppliers and program participants.
Peter is experienced in managing projects as well as collating technical information and preparing text for interpretation. This can be seen in the education resources that Peter compiles for the various Enviro-Stories education kits where technical information is interpreted for students and teachers.
Peter is also experienced in document editing, especially for a younger readers. He has been editing children’s stories for the Enviro-Stories Education Program since 2009 and this is a valuable skill for ensuring that interpretive text is easily read by any audience.
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 has established community networks in the field of environmental education in the Wide-Bay area of Queensland and in north-west NSW. Through these networks she has supported and mentored educators in local environmental issues and trained others on how to do the same.
Kelly has used her creative drive to become an established graphic designer for both print and online media. Her strength in this field allows her to create intuitive, informative and interesting materials for both young and old.
Over her career, Kelly has also coordinated multiple events, both on small and large scales. Her experience in event management, organisation skills, marketing and ability to seek sponsorship provides a valuable set of skills to any event.
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.