At CCCBSD, students, faculty and staff have been profoundly impacted by the tragedy of the Australian wildfires. As a community, we have engaged in a school-wide series of actions to raise awareness and promote fundraising to support the Australian people and animals. Across CCCBSD, efforts have been made to teach our students about this current event, instill a greater understanding of the unique culture and ecosystems of Australia, and to raise compassion for those impacted most directly by the fires.
The Australian project has been successful because of the contributions of so many caring faculty who ‘stepped up.’ Across our classrooms and corridors, teaching staff focused on raising awareness of Australia in ways that are appropriate for the students. We wish to thank everyone who participated.
The project was initiated by Dr. Amy Szarkowski, Director of The Institute at CCCBSD, with the extensive support of Cailyn Bennetts, Speech Therapist in the Communication Department, who was tasked with collecting information and photographs about all the events taking place. Curriculum Coordinators, Kate Corrigan and Rachel Benjamin developed a PowerPoint used in classes to learn about Australia. Sylvia Nolan, art teacher at CCCBSD, engaged students in creating art projects involving animals found in Australia – koala, platypus, quokka, and kangaroo! Music teacher Kelly Surette worked with the transition-age classrooms to generate a song (click here to enjoy)– of hope, healing, and care – to friends in Australia. Some students signed the song, while others sang it. APE teacher, Kellie Ruggles, incorporated games from Australia in her classes, including teaching BSD preschool students to play cricket, a traditionally Australian sport.
After learning about the devastating bushfires in Australia, transition students from Miss Ashleigh and Miss Mackenzie’s classes wanted to help raise funds. The students created handmade bracelets using a switch accessible loom, created with the help from Suzanne Jobski and Danielle Petrides, from the Occupational Therapy Department. To date, $1,217 has been raised and 234 bracelets have been ordered! Proceeds from the bracelet sales will be donated to Wildlife Victoria, an organization whose mission is to provide care to sick, injured, and orphaned wildlife in Australia.