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A Respectable Week PDF Print E-mail
Written by Peter Johnston   
Wednesday, 15 September 2010 21:32

Karen Harbison

Pictured is my friend and colleague Karen Harbison from Trinity Parish Church in Hamilton with whom I have been running workshops this week at Calderside Academy as part of the R.E.S.P.E.C.T. programme. We've made a pretty good double-act seemlessly segueing from one thing to another during the course of the workshops.

In the picture Karen is explaining to the S1 pupils one of the art activities we are using to encourage the pupils to think about themselves, their talents and what they can do for their community. All the pupils work is going to form a huge banner that will go up in the central "street" area of the school for Friday. [There's more...]

The other main activity we used in our workshop was music and the pupils have been busy writing new verses for the song True Colours which we plan to perform on Tuesday complete with choreography and multicoloured ribbons - it is going to be a fun afternoon tomorrow after our last two workshops to rehearse that! Some of the verses are very amusing.

There was also a poignant moment today in one of our workshops when one of the pupils asked for more guidance on what to put in the "What can I contribute to my community?" section of his banner. He told us that in his community everyone he sees is drunk or on drugs and he wanted to know what he could do in that situation? It wasn't a joke either, he clearly wanted some help on what to do. Perhaps set a good example for younger children in the area was one idea. But the reality of his predicament was one to ponder.

So far the response to what the Chaplaincy Team (and numerous volunteers) have been providing has been very well received. It has been slightly odd, in comparison to the big primary school events we run (Bubblegum 'n' Fluff and The Easter Code) not to be able to see what the other teams are doing in their workshops. Each workshop is taking place in different locations around the school. It is only afterwards that we can share experiences.

Also running this week we have had a Cosy Café which has been a superb hit with over 40 children coming along at lunchtime. Served hot chocolate by church volunteers, the Cosy Café provides a great place for us chaplains to sit down and have a blether with the pupils.

I still have a few things to prepare for tomorrow, so I had better sign off, but expect to hear more about Cosy Café soon and a fuller reflection on R.E.S.P.E.C.T. in due course!

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