Carinity Education students connecting to community
For students at Carinity Education schools, their learning extends beyond the classroom. They are actively engaged in supporting and giving back to the community they live in.
Students volunteer in their community in a variety of capacities, from cleaning beaches and animal shelters, to reading to young children and packing food hampers for people in need.
Demonstration of volunteering and work experience also allows students to gain credit towards certificate courses undertaken at their school, such as the Certificate II in Community Services.
For some students, regularly engaging with others on a volunteer basis is a segue to a possible career. Katie, a Year 10 student at Carinity Education Gladstone, has been contributing to her community while gaining valuable work experience.
Every Thursday morning, Katie voluntarily attends her local kindergarten to read to the children for half an hour. It was there she decided on her career path – teaching in early education.
Katie was so enthused about the opportunity to give back that she also volunteered her time during her school holidays.
Katie’s confidence in reading to an audience was developed in part by participating in reading lessons held after school with a small group of fellow students, which is organised by her Carinity Education Gladstone teacher.
At Carinity Education Glendyne, the efforts of volunteering students have benefited people close to home – and those in need abroad.
It includes selfless acts achieved through a history of collaboration with the Rotary Club of Hervey Bay City and Carinity Education Glendyne.
The partnership has seen Rotary members and school students work together to disassemble disused pushbikes and make wheelchairs, which were then shipped to developing countries.
A sewing group at the school made sanitation kits for girls abroad, while the Helping Hands project saw students and Rotary members put together mechanical hands for people who had lost limbs.
Rotary Club of Hervey Bay City President, Elizabeth Beer, hopes the collaborative projects have fostered altruism and a “spiritual growth” amongst students.
“I think this is a great thing for the students because it helps them to feel confident, learn about themselves and be dedicated to a task,” Elizabeth says.
The collaboration between Glendyne and Rotary continues with the organisation sponsoring the school’s human powered vehicle team. The initiative sees students design, build, test and race pedal-powered vehicles.
When Claude Harvey received a donation from Shalom Christian College students during a recent visit, he said it was one of the best school visits he had done in 15 years of fundraising for child protection organisation Bravehearts.
For the Director of School Campus at Shalom Christian College, Sharyn Ive, even the smallest display of generosity can make a large and positive impact in someone else’s life.
A holistic approach to education at the school includes instilling the notion that we can all help to improve our communities, no matter how small the gesture.
“We endeavour to teach all our students that they are part of a larger community here in Townsville, and encourage them to help make that community a better place,” says Sharon.
“We strive to develop the whole child and believe connection to one’s community – and instilling a sense of pride in where they live – is integral to their development. We provide an environment where children can grow and develop into independent and capable young people ready to be active, positive contributors to their community.”
Serving communities in Brisbane is an important component of Carinity Education Southside students receiving a rounded educational experience.
Each week, senior students provide around 100 minutes ‘volunteer time’. Beneficiaries include Lighthouse Care Loganholme, Westside Community Care, RSPCA Wacol and the Carinity Wishart Gardens aged care community.
“Volunteering helps everyone: those in the community who benefit from our time, but also our students. They can see that our society needs volunteers and they can play a role in that,” says teacher Bill Reinhold.
Being a volunteer has taught Carinity Education Southside student Mariah the importance of community.
“Over the past couple of years, I have met a large number of people from different walks of life and heard their stories. It has had a positive impact on my life and taught me to view the world differently.”
Caring for animals, wildlife and nature is also a cherished activity for students at Carinity Education Rockhampton.
Supervising teacher Danielle New says the volunteer projects “help promote youth engagement, wellbeing, community connection and opening job opportunities by learning new skills”.
From environmentally-focused activities such as Clean Up Australia Day and National Tree Day to mowing, setting up bunting and erecting jumps and stables at Crompton Park Pony Club, the students get a real sense of achievement out of helping their community.
Efforts of the students have also helped to sustain and revitalise local businesses such as disability service provider 4 Mile Farm at Gracemere, where they fed animals, collected eggs and cleaned stalls and water troughs.
“The class knew that they had to work hard each time they went there, but they enjoyed getting dirty knowing that the animals would be happier if they could do these little things for them,” Danielle says.
“The smiles on the students’ faces were always so big whenever we went there.”