The intermediate class of Cire Community School set up a stall recently in the Yarra Junction shopping centre selling kindling. As a class, they were raising money for the Breast Cancer Network of Australia (BCNA), whose aim is to support people who are affected by breast cancer through their services, resources and programs. The intermediate class chose this charity because amongst the school community, breast cancer has had a big, ongoing impact that has been felt by staff and students. The students wanted to be able to give something back, in appreciation for what those affected have done for the local community.
“Over the past few months, we have had a few false starts, idea changes, motivational issues and other small hiccups, but we’re proud that we could ultimately band together to successfully complete the project.” Lachlan, VCAL student
From a wider perspective, this was a good way for the class to get a feel for the preparation and planning of an event. They had to plan the process of preparing the wood; of organising permission to set up their stall, and of getting permission to use the BCNA promotional material. The students also needed to consider the occupational health and safety aspects of the process. On the day, the intermediate class were split into three groups of 3-4 students. Each group had a one hour shift to interact with the local community and to try and gather up as many kind donations and kindling sales as they could. The students were also giving away free balloons to children as they walked past – which may have annoyed their parents, but that was not intended!
“It was great to be getting to know our local community.” Lachlan, VCAL student
The intermediate class was particularly satisfied with their efforts when a couple of local women came up and told several students about their own experiences with breast cancer, thanking the students for their commitment and recognising that they were part of something important. Sarah Le Page, the teacher of the students involved, was also very proud of what the students had managed to accomplish.
“Their project had a few revisions however, their end goal remained the same. They really wanted to raise funds for the Breast Cancer Network of Australia in recognition of the network’s important role in helping those in our community who have suffered from the effects of having breast cancer; or being a member of a family affected by breast cancer.” Sarah Le Page, VCAL Intermediate Teacher, Cire Community School
“It made my day to see the community being proud of us.” Steffany, VCAL student
The class project faced difficulty where they set up, inconveniently being in front of the community noticeboard. It was clear that this was not a good position to be in, as a number of people wanted to be able to read the noticeboard. The students were careful to pack up quickly after their three hour shift, so that the community could use the noticeboard again. This however did not dampen their spirit or enthusiasm, with one of the greatest highlights being the appreciation shown by members of the public for the students’ hard work.
“We thank all those in the school and wider community who helped us to make this project happen, particularly Tony who also assisted us in preparing the kindling. We also appreciate the support of the staff at Cire Children’s Centre, for graciously taking one of our donation tins for a week, and actively encouraging the collection of additional donations.” Intermediate class at Cire Community School, Yarra Junction campus
The class did this as a team project with minimal help from staff. On the day they raised just over $200 for BCNA. The money raised comprised kindling sales and additional donations. The intermediate class are hoping to sell more kindling in the next few days to add to their total raised. They will be depositing all funds raised into the bank account of Breast Cancer Network of Australia once the project is complete.
Projects like these are designed to prepare VCAL students for the workforce. They start up a mini business and set goals to measure their success. The businesses are social enterprises as they have a social purpose just like this one. They either have a direct social benefit to the community or they aim to raise money for charity. These projects are supported by an EngageMe! Grant from the Victorian Government. Running the enterprises gives the students employability skills with a particular focus on initiative, problem-solving, teamwork, leadership and communication.
For further information on Cire Community School VCAL programs click here or call 1300 835 235