Lego League at East Kimberley College

In 2018 YouthCARE chaplain Kim started the Lego League Club at East Kimberley College.

“We had a new student who was grieving the loss of their dad and had just moved to our school. They had competed in the Lego League at their previous school so I wanted to start up the club to support them,” said Kim.

Kim got together with the schools’ Digital Technologies teacher to start the club. The Lego Leauge is a STEM based program that consists of programming Lego Mindstorm robots to complete challenges, research projects where students are asked to solve real-world problems, and Core Values challenges where students are challenged to build social skills with their team.

In 2018 a team of six students travelled to the Northern Territory to compete in a regional tournament which they won, putting them through to the finals in Sydney. The following year, the team grew to 11 students where they also placed in the finals in Sydney.

“This year we have 13 students who meet regularly each week to prepare for the regional tournament. We go through problem-solving, programming, and engineering skills,” said Kim.

“I love that through this program offers so much, our students have become more connected to each other, more confident in public speaking, and have become great problem solvers. The bonus has been that we have had these great opportunities to take students from a small town in the Kimberley to experience a big city like Sydney and mix with like-minded students from all over Australia, they will never forget these experiences,” said Kim.

Food Hampers helping families in time of need

When Nathan, the YouthCARE chaplain at Ardross and Kardinya Primary School’s, heard more and more stories of families doing it tough during the Covid-19 pandemic, he knew he had to step in and do something.

He put a call out to local churches, asking if they had food resources to donate, hoping to make up a few food hampers for families in his school.
He was inundated with frozen meals, non-perishable foods and toilet rolls!

Working with some other YouthCARE chaplains, they set to work creating food hampers. 

Chaplain Nathan dropping off hampers to a local school!

“Some families were very stretched by the time we delivered hampers, so they were very relieved and thankful for the support! I can’t imagine what it would be like to have nothing in the pantry or the wallet and have a house full of hungry people!” said Nathan.

They were able to help over four school communities with hampers and even have local churches now providing long term support to local families.

 

Rockingham Beach Breakfast Club Donation!

Today Rockingham Beach Primary School received a generous donation of a six slice toaster from Rotary Club Rockingham for their weekly Breakfast Club! Staff and students are very thankful for the donation and excited to get toasting! Breakfast Club is a valued program at the school that continues to provided breakfast for students in need as well as giving year 6’s responsibility in being a “Breakfast Club Helper”.

“Thanks to Rotary; having this new toaster, the students spend less time waiting for toast as we can pump out more in the limited time frame we have,” said YouthCARE chaplain Mel!

Breakfast Clubs are an important program run in hundreds of WA state schools. They provide a much needed meal for many students and have shown to significantly increase concentration in the classroom. The program also gives YouthCARE chaplains an opportunity to build relationships with students outside of the classroom, in a less formal setting.

A Message from the CEO

Dear Supporters and Friends,

Over the last few weeks, there have been various announcements that have changed the way we live out our lives in public and in our workplaces. 

The continuation of schools has brought with it significant challenges and stresses for all involved, either directly or indirectly, in school communities. YouthCARE’s school chaplains have had to continue their front-line role of supporting our school communities. There is no doubt that their work has had to change, adapt and expand to better support school staff, students and families.

YouthCARE has been working closely with the Department of Education to ensure that its chaplains are still able to offer their support to families and students who are not at schools, through other approved means. We will continue to adapt to the changing scenarios as matters relating to COVID-19 play out in the coming days.

ALL YouthCARE chaplains and Area Chaplains throughout WA have continued to provide their service with the greatest level of commitment to their school community, including a small number who are working from home due to health concerns. 

All other services including Christian Values Education have been suspended for the time being.

We are so proud of the way our chaplains have gone about their roles in an unassuming and sensitive manner to ensure that anyone who may be feeling vulnerable at this time is given the necessary support or referrals.

Your prayer support for all involved with YouthCARE is appreciated and valued.

Blessings,

Stanley Jeyaraj

YouthCARE CEO

YouthCARE AGM

This week YouthCARE’s Heads of Member churches, YouthCARE Board and the senior management team and met for YouthCARE’s Annual General Meeting; although it looked a little different this year!

The group gathered over an online Zoom meeting to receive the reports for 2019 on the positive activities of Christian Values Education and YouthCARE’s chaplaincy services which are offered to almost 600 state schools across WA. 

It was a great opportunity for the organisation to welcome Glenn Bergsma as its new chairman and new board member Mildred Rego.  Malcolm Potts, Mark Illingworth, and Steve Francis have been re-confirmed in their roles.

(Left: Glenn Bergsma, YouthCARE Chairman. Right: Mildred Rego, YouthCARE Board Member)

Our thanks go to Sandra Peterson for her generous service of 2 terms on the board.

“We are grateful for the strong support offered to the organisation by the member churches in so many ways; their encouragement helps us continue the great work of the organisation in our school communities throughout WA.”

Chaplaincy at the “Farm School”

While many YouthCARE chaplains days’ are filled with programs, pastoral care, and school events, life as a chaplain at WA College of Agriculture Cunderdin looks very different!

Michelle started at the college in Term 3 last year and says she has loved the unpredictability each day brings.

“I join with students across the College to engage with them in class, farm, and trades. I also work during residential time two days a week to be a support and facilitate activities,” said Michelle.

The College productively farms a 4,064ha property including an intensive piggery, poultry unit, butchershop, shearing shed, and farm workshop. The farm runs sheep, cattle, pigs, and poultry for egg production.

“I turn up wherever something is happening, whether its cattle in yards, shearing in shearing shed, pigs farrowing, welding in the workshop or chasing sheep in the rain! I spend time just being in the student’s workspace and engage in one on one conversations with them,” said Michelle.

Students come from all across the state making up 142 years 11 and 12 students, only 3 of whom are day students and the remainder are boarders. Michelle says a big focus for her and the Student Services team is the well-being of students as they navigate being far from home.

“I can combine my passion for photography with my role as chaplain and it gives me great pleasure to be able to walk about with my camera photographing the students at work. They are very keen to have ‘evidence that they can shear a sheep’ when no one believes them!” said Michelle.

Highway Heroes at Balga Primary School

YouthCARE chaplain Di has started running the Highway Heroes program at Balga Primary School to help improve students’ behavioural, emotional and social skills.

“We wanted to look at a whole-school program that covers something that aligns with curriculum and provided social and emotional skills to students,” said Di.

The program equips students to identify if an issue can be dealt with themselves and gives them the steps to do so.

One part of the program which has permeated the school is the ‘Six Steps Stick Up for Me’. These six steps target bullying and help students to build confidence in addressing a bully.

Students at Balga Primary School showing The Six Steps; Stick Up for Me

“The Six Steps help our students to stand up for themselves and each other by learning to be resilient and identifying when they need an adult.

“It makes it so much easier when everyone is on the same page and by the whole school participating in this program we are able to reinforce what is learned each week,” said Di.

The program is very interactive for students and staff and sees participants acting out different scenarios and learning how to deal with situations.

“The key to the program is repetition. We keep parents informed about what is taught each week so they can reinforce the skills at home. We can definitely see that students have benefitted from the program with how they interact with each other on the playground,” said Di.

34 chaplains have been commissioned already this year!

At YouthCARE we have had an incredible start to 2020!

Already this year we have inducted and commissioned 34 chaplains into schools from as far north as Mount Magnet down to Albany, and everywhere in-between.

Nicola is one of our chaplains who was commissioned in February and has started her YouthCARE chaplaincy role at Inglewood Primary School.

“The induction week was extremely helpful, not only in terms of the content covered but as an opportunity to meet other new chaplains, hear stories from experienced chaplains and meet the other staff who work at YouthCARE central office,” said Nicola.

Nicola at Commissioning with YouthCARE CEO, Stanley Jeyaraj

YouthCARE’s chaplaincy application process has been refined over the last 40 years of experience to ensure the best quality service possible is delivered to schools. 63% of chaplains placed in state schools through YouthCARE have more than the minimum requirements of becoming a chaplain.

Nicola had met YouthCARE chaplains previously through her son’s high school as well as her position on the P&C and knew that the quality of pastoral care provided in schools through YouthCARE was exceptional.

” After meeting several YouthCARE chaplains and hearing about the great work they do, it was an easy choice for me to apply with YouthCARE when I was ready to become a chaplain,” she said.