About 12 schools have signed up to a program designed to promote koala preservation and protection.
The Tacking Point Lions Club program, Koala Smart, is open to all schools in the Hastings and Macleay.
Tacking Point Lions Club's Janice McGilchrist said the program aimed to inspire, educate and motivate.
Students will address the question of what they would do to save the koala with a focus on the issues which threaten their local koala population.
They will research, analyse, problem solve, think creatively and build links with the community.
Each participating school will receive a half-metre tall koala sculpture to paint.
The program will culminate in a travelling public exhibition towards the end of the year.
St Columba Anglican School primary school teacher Ann-Kathrin Kiehn said if we didn't do something now, there would not be koalas in our region in our lifetime.
"We have koalas in our environment here and we are very concerned about their welfare," she said.
Lake Cathie Public School assistant principal Karin Haleblian said the students really got behind environmental projects, especially with koalas being a recognisable animal in our area.
Mrs Haleblian said the creative aspects of the project, with the mini-koala sculpture painting and the creative thinking around problem solving, also appealed.
Wauchope Public School class teacher Mitchell Nicholson the school's involvement in the program was a way of making a community connection which hopefully had meaning for the students.
"I'm looking at making it as collaborative and inclusive as possible," he said.
Schools have until April 12 to get on board with the educational and creative arts program.
Tacking Point Lions Club has partnered with Port Macquarie-Hastings Council, NSW Save Our Species Program, Port Macquarie Koala Hospital and Hello Koalas Sculpture Trail in the step towards saving koalas from extinction.
The club launched the program in January 2019.
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