St Pius X Primary School, Dernancourt has also developed a curriculum unite to support a similar Mission Action Day specifically for China Little Flower. Belinda Burford reflections on the program:
Our focus on ‘welcome, inclusivity and belonging’ were encapsulated in this, our school theme ,for 2010. In keeping with this, we made a conscious decision to establish a connection with the Oblates in China, particularly the Little Flower Orphanage. We developed a Social Justice program that would combine curriculum, prayer and liturgy, together with advocacy and a ‘hands-on approach’. What followed took all of us by surprise!
Apart from wanting to expose the students to a deeper insight into the notion of Social Justice, we hoped they would understand that they are part of a ‘larger Oblate family’ that extends right across the world. And most importantly, that our efforts here in ‘St Pius X school Windsor Gardens’ have ripple effects of ‘goodness’ all the way over to China! So we created teaching units using Integral Learning Theory, with a matrix to support ideas and activities.
All term we continued to pray and to raise community awareness, with emphasis of our China focus in newsletters, assemblies and staff meetings. Hands-on activities were initiated whereby each year level made a different gift to be sent, ranging from: knitted blankets for the babies, picture books, educational placemats, and friendship bracelets. These will be taken to China by Fr Christian Fini this year.
Our efforts culminated in a Social Justice Day at the end of term. Kay Morrison, a parishioner, had just freshly returned from volunteering in China and Hong Kong for 6 weeks. She spoke to us with excitement that was so contagious! We then came together for a liturgy to pray for all at the orphanage.
Later in the day we held a Social Justice Fair. Classes ran food and drink stalls, with games like Apple Stacking, Sumo Wrestling (with pillows!!), Lolly Quest, and the Oblate Obstacle Course. The fair raised almost $2000 which went entirely to support the orphanage.
We have been so touched by this connection that now we have 2 of our staff members hoping to visit Hong Kong and China later this year! So it is seems that, from afar, a small seed of friendship has been planted and is beginning to flourish. We’re looking forward to nurturing this even more in years to come.
By Belinda Burford, Assistant Principal Religious Identity and Mission, St Pius X School Windsor Gardens SA