Monkland State School students (back) Georgia Browne, Mary-Helen Buchan, Jack Marshall and (front) Jesse Dutroit return to school yesterday to find their campaign for a new footpath was successful.
Monkland State School students (back) Georgia Browne, Mary-Helen Buchan, Jack Marshall and (front) Jesse Dutroit return to school yesterday to find their campaign for a new footpath was successful. Tanya Easterby

Monkland students celebrate new footpath

MONKLAND State Primary School students have realised the power of working collectively after christening a new footpath on the first day back at school yesterday.

The footpath, laid during the school holidays, came about when Year 6 and 7 students lobbied Gympie Regional Council by writing letters during July last year.

Tying the school project together was Monkland library teacher aide, Jodie Wilson.

Ms Wilson came up with the idea out of necessity and because she saw an educational opportunity.

"I used to walk to the school gate and because there was no path, my shoes would get wet," she said.

The path previously pulled up short of the school and left pedestrians completing their journey cross-country.

"I came up with the idea to incorporate this in the classroom and have the children learn about writing a formal letter and making a reasoned argument," Ms Wilson said.

The two gelled perfectly.

Students thought about their arguments for a new path and considered not only of themselves but others in the community.

Ms Wilson said that the letters to council outlined the need for the footpath, making the case for members of the public using the area during weekend markets at Lake

Alford and the disabled who commuted on foot to the nearby Red Cross recycling facility.

The letters were sent and Ms Wilson freely admitted she did not expect a reply.

Council's response surprised the library teacher aide and students.

"Mayor Ron Dyne personally replied to each student," Ms Wilson said.

"I really want to give council some credit because the children were thrilled."

In addition to being a worthwhile academic and practical exercise, the library teacher aide said the exercise was ideal practice for NAPLAN testing.

The project came full circle yesterday with the new path, remaining a legacy for all Monkland students involved.