Caritas College gives back to Port Augusta's special needs children

FUN: Caritas students Eliza Phillips, left, and Shania Henderson, centre, with Miriam High students Reese, Hannah and Hayden. The class also performed Old McDonald's Farm for a CD recording.
FUN: Caritas students Eliza Phillips, left, and Shania Henderson, centre, with Miriam High students Reese, Hannah and Hayden. The class also performed Old McDonald's Farm for a CD recording.

A group of Caritas College Year 12 Stage 2 Child Studies students are excelling in their studies, and giving back to the Port Augusta community.

On Thursday, May 24, the group officially handed over six learning aid structures to Miriam Special Needs School with six more to be given to Port Augusta Special School on Tuesday, May 30.

Items donated to the Miriam Special Needs School a ‘Dory’ lap buddy suited for autistic children, a weighted ‘bag’ that looks like Dory for children to have on their lap.

Other items include a farm animal blanket with each animal made out of a different fabric, and a Mr and Mrs Potato Head which consists of a big fabric potato with detachable parts that can be attached by velcro.

Year 12 Student Shania Henderson, who created a Humpty Dumpty doll with detachable body parts, said it was a rewarding process. 

“It was great to be creating something for kids with special needs,” she said.

“And just being creative and helping out with their learning was a really fun and rewarding part.”

Fellow Year 12 Student Holly Nayda who created a Mr and Mrs Potato Head with detachable facial features said she thoroughly enjoyed the process with the handover day being a particularly proud moment. 

“It is really good to help out and it is especially rewarding for me,” she said.

“And the responses you get, you never think you would make something this good, but the kids’ faces just light up.”

The work had a focus about what particular needs of children with special needs are such as a big focus on colour and high-sensory items that students can touch and feel.

This is the best assignment we do each year, and what they create impresses me every year. It just gets better and better

Nora Grover, teacher

The class of 12 students completed the items over roughly 16 lessons in four weeks. The whole class sang the children’s classic, Old McDonald’s Farm, onto a CD which will also be donated to the two centres.

Year 12 Stage 2 Child Studies teacher Nora Grover said the fabrics used had to be ‘super-duper strong’ and that she’s proud to see where it is today.

“This is the best assignment we do each year … it just gets better and better,” she said. It is the student’s favourite assignment, too, and, as much as they don’t want to hand it over, that day when they hand it over is really special.”