Building community at Christmas time

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20 December 2016

The Grade 3 and 4 students at St Aloysius’ School, Caulfield, brought their Christmas spirit and cheer in the form of handmade cards for the residents atSt Aloysius School students with a resident from Sheridan Hall showing their handmade Christmas cards nearby Sheridan Hall Aged Care Home. The students made their cards at school with special greetings for their new friends and joined in an impromptu Christmas carol sing-a-long started by one of the residents.

The Christmas visit was a great start to what will be a fortnightly program in 2017 when the students will alternate the focus of their visits between craft and reading. Though some students who had little experience with seniors found the initial introduction to an Aged Care Home confronting, many commented on ‘how happy everyone was’ and ‘how lovely the place was’ (and that they would like to live there too!).

The students had spent the previous few weeks thinking about ‘What does Christmas mean to you?’ when they participated in an article for the current edition of Melbourne Catholic, ‘From the mouths of babes’. They started to discuss social justice issues: thinking about people who were not as lucky as they are, children around the world, what they are grateful for, and things they take for granted, for example, their families.

Thinking about those who may not have any family, especially at Christmas time, led the students to take action and the program to visit Sheridan Hall began.