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Service Learning in the Community: Small acts make a big difference

In Years 9 and 10, Wenona students complete a minimum of 10 hours of Service Learning in the Community (SLIC). The project gives girls the opportunity to make a contribution in the community while gaining life skills. Students in involve themselves in a minimum of 10 hours of project-based work or a local community project. They volunteer with charities, help students with the homework, and look after the elderly and care for the marginalised.

At the Houses and Service Assembly on Friday 11 November, Madison, Sibel, Rachel and Caitlin of Year 9 spoke about their experience in SLIC. The girls agreed it is important to give back and that the smallest acts can make a huge impact.

Sibel helped her neighbour who had returned from hospital after a long and complicated illness, preparing her meals, cleaning, ironing and assisting as a general carer. Before going in, she felt unsure of what she would need to do and how she could help. But she was open minded and while “it was a learning curve, but it was exciting – it paid off,” Sibel said.

Cailtin spent time with Emily James, young woman who after a snowboarding accident, was left a quadriplegic. Cailtin helped with Emily’s university studies – scribing, filing and writing exam notes. Cailtin was stunned by how incredibly capable Emily. She was inspired by her ability to do so much by herself. “She is very passionate and humble,” she said, “we built a really strong relationship.”

Madison worked on a literacy project with the Ardock Youth foundation which aims to help disadvantaged school students with their reading and writing. In the program ‘big-buddies’, often attached to a corporation, team up with ‘little-buddies’. Madison signed up through her dad’s work, Propertylink, and began writing to a student named Philamena, a Year 6 student based in Sydney’s south-west.

“I learnt how to encourage young students to motivate themselves and practice their literacy skills,” Madison said. “It was amazing to witness Philamena’s literacy and writing skills improve with each letter.” Madison realised that giving young people hope for a brighter future is important to her and that little things – such as writing letters – can make a huge difference.

Ms Kate Seale, Director of Community and Service Learning, congratulated all 240 students who completed their SLIC. “We are very aware of the extraordinary work many of the you have contributed towards your communities and hope you have reflected upon and learned a great deal about yourselves, others and the broader society from your experiences,” she said.