The Story That Ended With a New Beginning

A chaplain in the Esperance region recently joined a year one and two class for their English lesson.

The students were encouraged to write a story following the principles of narrative structure.

Narrative structure is the creation of a plot by manipulating a chain of events, or cause and effect. This could be through a linear format (ie. beginning, middle, end), multiple plots, or be reverse chronological order.

Chaplain Jake was inspired by the idea a narrative could conclude with a new beginning instead of an ending. So he started writing a story as well.

Thirty minutes passed and one by one the students and chaplain read out their stories.

There were stories about …lions and tigers and bears, oh my!

Jake’s story was such a hit that the teacher suggested he should publish it.

A few months passed and Jake had shelved the idea of publishing the story until an incident occurred. It caused Jake to realise that people in his community could benefit from hearing The Big Old Tree, even if it was just a couple of people.

The only complication was that the story needed an illustrator to bring it to life.

“After discussion with some of the teachers about finding an illustrator, one teacher suggested I ask Anika, a year 2 student who has amazing drawing skills for her age,” said Jake.

The first illustration created for the book was a sad prince and a tree.

“When I saw her pictures I knew it was exactly what I wanted for the book,” said Jake.

The Big Old Tree has since inspired many people and is a great reminder of how a little bit of positive encouragement can go a long way.

You can catch more stories from our Esperance chaplains on the Goldfields, Esperance and Lake Grace Region Page.

The Huggle Tree Project

The students at Pegs Creek Primary School have a new way to regulate their emotions when their feelings get a bit too much, tree-hugging!

Two trees in the centre of the school were selected to be wrapped in crocheted and knitted pieces of wool.

Chaplain Naomi organised the project to add a splash of colour to the school and unite the school community.

The students can have a huggle (a cross between a hug and a cuddle) from the Huggle Trees when they require comfort or assistance to calm down.

“There are many researched benefits for people to tree hug,” said Naomi.

The motion of hugging a tree can increase a person’s levels of the hormones oxytocin, serotonin, and dopamine. These hormones are responsible for making you feel calm and happy.

“The hope is that kids of all ages (including teachers and parents) can grab a huggle whenever they need one if they are in the blue zone, or just needing to feel the comfort of something soft,” said Naomi.

Other chaplains across the state have also completed the Huggle Tree Project with their school communities.

You can read more stories from the region on the Pilbara Region Page.