Connected Communities

Bronwyn WilsonAround the grounds, Community Action, Early Learning Centre, Special Events

“Their confidence went through the roof!” — Connected Communities Day in the ELC

A beautiful June day saw our ELC students take part in a unique learning experience that was not only hugely enriching, but also helped to strengthen SPLS’s connections with our community.

On 30 June, Mrs Midson and the children of the ELC were delighted to welcome ten residents from the Hillsview Retirement Village at Happy Valley for a heartwarming morning of play and laughter.

This exciting new initiative was a special day for everyone who took part.

For the children of the ELC, it was a wonderful opportunity to act as teachers and guides for our guests, and they took great pride in sharing their daily activities with the Hillsview residents while showing them around the ELC and telling them about life at SPLS.

“Rainbows was the theme of the day,” explained Mrs Midson, “and we sang our guests a song, presented them with gifts of our artwork, and even made them a fruit salad!

“What was so encouraging to see was the way ELC students felt empowered, safe and confident enough to connect so warmly with people they didn’t know. They showed real social confidence and an understanding that our guests hadn’t been here before. It was a pleasure to watch the way the children were able to explain the activities they were doing, or how things work in the ELC.”

A morning tea was also enjoyed by all! One of the gentlemen from Hillsview had brought along an ‘old school’ blackboard and chalk for a Show & Tell session, which the children watched in awe!

SPLS is committed to the whole community

An important part of our commitment to growing together at SPLS is engaging with the entire community in unique, enriching ways. Our inaugural Connected Communities Day was an ideal opportunity to do this, and a chance for us all to give something back.

The value of this commitment has never been felt more than during the pandemic. One of the many unfortunate effects of Covid-19 has been the enforced separation of extended families, with travel restrictions stopping large numbers of people from going interstate or overseas to be with family members.

Some of our children, for instance, have not been able to travel to see their grandparents, while some Hillsview residents have likewise been separated from their grandchildren (or great grandchildren) throughout this very difficult period.

This loss of close contact and communication has been a drain on us all, and while Connected Communities Day could never take the place of being with family members, it was nevertheless a way of filling this void in an enjoyable, engaging way.

More Connected Communities Days to come

The overwhelming sense of pride and enjoyment everyone experienced on Connected Communities Day has meant that it is an event we are all very keen to repeat.

“Everyone had an absolute blast, and the children’s confidence went through the roof,” Mrs Midson reported enthusiastically. “We are hoping to make it a regular part of the calendar, and we would love to be able to do an event like this twice a term, with different children and residents, and even different retirement villages altogether.”

Although the current Covid-19 restrictions in place in South Australia have made further physical visits more difficult for the time being, we are nevertheless finding different ways to stay in touch with our new friends.

As Mrs Midson explained, “The children have sent the Hillsview residents a song electronically, as well as some artwork telling them that we wish we could have them back, and this has helped to keep the connection going.”

Want to find out more?

If you want to find out more about our ELC, or make an enquiry about St Peters Lutheran School, please contact admin@stpeterslutheran.sa.edu.au or call the school on 8278 0800.