A Date With Charcoal Lane While Learning Through Lunch

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Grade 4 to 6 students from Dinjerra Primary School took part in a Learning Through Lunch for the first time together with Footscray and Caroline Springs Police at Charcoal Lane late last month. Learning through Lunch takes primary school students from disadvantaged areas out of their comfort zone and introduces them to new experiences and food that they may never have tried before. Children develop confidence by engaging in table conversation with adult volunteers, trying new foods, becoming familiar with a restaurant setting and recognising hospitality as a possible career path.

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It was a great experience for the children to have the opportunity to dine in a proper restaurant environment. The volunteers were great, the chefs and waiters were great! it was a wonderful experience overall” said a classroom teacher.

When asked whether the event had any noticeable impressions, one teacher commented, “They had a great time. Some even thought they would change their original pathway after school after seeing the options. Seeing students interact comfortably and respectfully with each other and volunteers was rewarding. Seeing the faces of students when they were trying the native fruits was also entertaining!”.

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Charcoal Lane is a Mission Australia social enterprise restaurant that provides guidance and opportunity to young people, many of whom are Aboriginal, and in need of a fresh start in life.

Thank you to the Footscray and Caroline Springs Police departments as well as Charcoal Lane for their ongoing support towards our Learning Through Lunch program.