What is Service Learning, and why is it a part of the Student Wellbeing program?
Service Learning connects learning with meaningful, authentic service in the school, local and global community. School community members are given opportunities to learn and understand the needs of others; and apply these in the context of a service project that meets the legitimate needs of others.
Service learning is consistent with how Jesus taught, His disciples were highly engaged, often immediately applying what they were learning by meeting the real-world needs of people, and then later reflecting about what they experienced and can learn. All the William Carey attributes can be demonstrated in the serving of others.
William Carey has a longstanding partnership with Blue Hills Manor, a local Aged Care facility. In 2004 our school was asked if we would set up email accounts for the residents so they could stay in touch with their grandchildren who rarely or never visited. At that time, 75% of the residents in the nursing home never received a visitor, even though 85% of their families lived within ten minutes. From 2005 we began regular weekly visits, so the residents got to see young faces.
Currently, a number of senior students are involved in a foot spa program, a time of group socialisation between the residents and students. Residents enjoy a warm foot spa while the students engage in conversation, the residents often open up and share stories about their families and their past. There is also an opportunity to engage with residents who rarely come out of their room, providing opportunities for close bonds, it’s a wonderful time of reminiscence for the residents and education for the students.
To our outgoing Year 12 team members, thank you so much for the difference you have made to the residents and for the joy you brought them. To our continuing and incoming new members of the team, thank you for giving your time each week to invest in the lives of the residents at Blue Hills.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility, value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. Philippians 2:3-4