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Santa Maria students share time with children at MercyCare’s Bedford Early Learning Centre

Generous Santa Maria College students have donated their time during the winter holidays to help teach children from MercyCare’s Bedford Early Learning Centre important life skills.

Students from the Attadale school spent several hours during the first week of their July school holidays to help educate young children aged between 4 and 10 through role play, community interaction and healthy eating.

Together, they set up a food market where they used their knowledge about sustainability and recycled grocery items to learn the daily activities of a supermarket before an excursion to a local fruit and vegetable market.

There, the younger children bought supplies for a “restaurant”, which they set up with the Santa Maria College students the following day, preparing and serving lunch.

Centre Manager Tegan Hansen said the involvement of high school students had been an integral part of the learning and skills development of the younger children.

“It is inspiring that the students involved in this project sacrificed part of their own school holidays to help others. They are to be commended for their service and selfless attitudes,” Ms Hansen said.

Year 10 Santa Maria College student Iysha O’Meara said the experience at MercyCare’s Bedford Early Learning Centre had been worthwhile and extremely rewarding.

“It was great fun teaching the children and playing games to help their learning,” she said. “I think they enjoyed meeting new people and interacting with us.

The MercyCare Schools Program, now in its fourth year, opens the community service experience to student volunteers at a range of MercyCare sites, including child care, aged care and respite care for people living with dementia.