No strings in program to help kids understand

8 September 2010
Whitehorse Leader, Page: 5
By Stacy Allen

The effects of a serious illness can be hard for children to comprehend, but a visiting puppet program helped educate students in Burwood East last week.

Burwood Heights Primary hosted three life-sized puppets on September 2 as part of the McDonald's Camp Quality Puppets program.

The interactive educational program uses the puppets to deliver a positive message about supporting children living with cancer and other serious illnesses.

Victorian coordinator Ella Pye said the program was designed to facilitate the return of children to school after treatment for cancer. Ms Pye said since its inception in 1988, more than three million children had benefited from the puppet's messages.

"Visiting local schools like Burwood Heights allows us to educate students through a unique brand of fun therapy and interactivity," she said.

Ms Pye said the plays addressed bullying, tolerance and acceptance and the puppets educated students to have compassion for children living with cancer and serious illnesses.

She said the three mischievous puppets, Kylie, Dean and Melissa, showed the direct and indirect effects of cancer such as hair loss and amputation.

Ms Pye said the puppets demonstrated how acceptance, encouragement and tolerance were messages everyone could be reminded of.