Service to others has been an integral part of Northholm since the early days of the school. More recently, Northholm has formalised its commitment to helping others through a Service Learning Week at the end of Term Four every year. Students from Kindergarten to Year Ten have participated in a wide range of projects including assisting the elderly, helping socio-economically disadvantaged primary students and working in soup kitchens.
At the end of last year, a group of Year Nine students were involved in visiting the residents of Rowland Village in Galston. “We were completely blown away by some of their stories and life experiences and finished that week feeling extremely rewarded and happy. From then on, my classmates, Emma Mercieca and Denique Shai-Hee, and I have been going back to visit Rowland residents one Sunday each month,” said Ella Cotrona, Year Ten student. “During those visits, the residents told us about groups who had performed to them and how much they enjoyed it. We knew there were so many talented music and drama students at Northholm who could really make a difference and entertain the residents. We wanted to make more of an impact on their lives, and saw the creative arts as something they could connect to in some way.”
Ella and Emma began with the idea of a low key afternoon musical performance for the residents, which then grew to a request from Rowland Village to perform at their Family Fun Day, held in June. Not wanting to let this opportunity pass, the girls went into action. After gaining approval from the School, they met weekly to work on plans as to who would be involved, how long to perform for, where to perform, who would set up, how they would get the equipment to and from the Village, liaising with Rowland Village staff and many more things, not to mention organising rehearsal times. “So much organisation went in from everyone involved, and Emma and I are extremely grateful for this,” said Ella. “The day ran perfectly. All of the residents who watched and listened to the Northholm students were amused, delighted and excited to see such talented young people. Without the help of the school staff and other students, the idea that Emma and I had, would not have become a reality. Events like this show how kind and selfless so many of the Northholm community are, and give the School a chance to make a real difference within the wider community. We are looking forward to future events at Rowland Village, as we have now locked in one afternoon a term to perform music to the residents.”
Northholm is extremely proud of this initiative and of the commitment these students have shown in serving the local community members of staff are delighted that a week-long Service Learning Program has made students more aware of considering the needs of others and that service is now an ongoing part of their lives.