St John Paul II Catholic College Year 7 Social Justice Committee members are doing their bit to overcoming inequity by creating literacy packs for students in Catholic schools in the NSW outback town of Wilcannia.
The students came up with the idea last year to collect and donate reading materials to remote Indigenous communities in Wilcannia as a way to help close the literacy gap. Their collection went so well they also had enough resources to extend the project to Our Lady of the Rosary Primary School in St Mary’s.
St John Paul II Year 7 Student Learning Liaison teacher Dermott Morgan said the Year 7 Social Justice Committee choose Our Lady of the Rosary to receive the Literacy packs as a way of encouraging students from its 42 cultural backgrounds to continue reading over the summer break.
“The Year 7 students also wanted to bring some Indigenous cultural awareness to the Kindergarten and Year 1 students at Our Lady of the Rosary, which emphasised the importance of Aboriginal connections to their land," Mr Morgan said.
“The Year 7 students were prepped by Jarara Specialist Teacher Julie Waddell in conducting the lesson which featured the dreaming story The Echidna and The Shade Tree and was followed by craft exercise into making echidnas out of clay," Mr Morgan said.
St John Paul II Leader of Learning Stage 4 teacher Amanda Swift, along with Mr Morgan and Mrs Waddell then took 24 students out to Our Lady of the Rosary where they worked on the literacy and cultural awareness activities with the Kindergarten and Year 1 students.
“Each student received four books in a bag to read over the break alongside alphabet charts, journals and other literacy activities. We are very proud of our students; they were great role models," Mrs Swift said.