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I am often asked what is the distinctive of RCC. What do we do that sets us apart? Why should I send my child to RCC? Personally, this is one of my favourites; I think this is a brilliant question.

As we journey together, I am realising that more and more we are raising children in a consumerist world and everything therefore is engineered around them. What makes them feel good? What makes them be the best? What makes them elite? My response to the questions, why RCC, is that we raise students to be contributors not consumers. This is one of our key distinctives, this is why you send your child here. It is vital that we raise our students to be different; knowing that this planet is about more than just them; raising them to contribute, not just consume.

This week I wanted to share with you one way this happens at RCC  through the No Longer I project. Every class, every year, decides on a project that they would like to do to contribute to their local community. This helps them take a small step in realising that they need to contribute because it is not all about them.

Please enjoy as you read what each year level has done or is still to do this year as part of No longer I:

Pre-Kindy

In Term 1 Pre-K had the theme of Me, Myself and I with the focus that they were uniquely created and loved by God. Each of us has an ability that God has given us to use to bless others. Pre Kindy looked at what children around the world had been able to do to help others. We talked about a project that a child had set up to help homeless people. Many of the children said that there were no homeless people in Ballina. As a result, we asked Captains Paul and Christy Kurth from the Salvation Army to talk to us about homelessness in Ballina.  Pre Kindy decided to help by donating non-perishable goods to be distributed to those in need. We wanted to bless the homeless people.

Kindergarten:

Kindy has been learning to use the gifts they have, even though they are young. All the students are wonderful readers, so they thought they could use this gift to share with the elderly, who may be lonely. Kindy will be going to the nursing home to sing some songs and read to the residents.

Year One:

“No Longer I, No Longer Alone”

Year 1 has an aim each day that no one is left alone in the playground. It started with our class only, with the hope of thinking about others in the wider Primary School. This displays how God will never leave us alone, wherever we are, as his loved people. 

Years Three & Four:

For our No Longer I project, Year 3 and 4 will be making cards and giving them to the residents of a nursing home. We will also be singing a few songs and reading some stories to the residents. We will be doing this with Year 7 who are making and giving cupcakes and banana bread to the residents.

Year Five:

Year 5 have enjoyed sponsoring and corresponding with two children living in third world countries through the organisation Compassion. Our sponsor children are Bereket, an 11-year-old boy from Ethiopia and Rheaven, a 7-year-old girl from The Philippines. Year 5 support both children financially, through letters of encouragement and prayer. The students are always  excited to receive letters, photos and drawings from Bereket and Rheavin and are just as keen to respond. Some children in Year 5 have taken full ownership of their weekly contribution by committing themselves to chores around their home. 

Year Six:

For No Longer I Year 6 have been inspired by the book ‘A Long Walk to Water.’ Last year in Year 5 the students read this book with Mrs Woolley and wanted to raise money for clean water in South Sudan. They plan to raise sponsorship to walk from school to a park, eat lunch there and play some games and walk back to school, representing peoples’ long walk to get water for themselves (they will also be joined by Year 5).  

Year Seven:

Year 7 students are joining the Year 3 students in visiting a local nursing home.  Year 7 are planning on making cookies, cupcakes and banana bread to give to the residents of the nursing home, along with a message of encouragement and kindness.   Year 7 will fund their endeavours personally.

Year Eight:

As part of their Technology Mandatory Textiles Unit at the start of the year, the Year 8 students asked Year 2 to help them design a soft toy that they could create as part of their assessment task. This was a fabulous real-life scenario as the Year 8 students worked with their Year 2 clients to create some wonderful soft toys. The students decided to donate their soft toys to Lismore Base Hospital Children’s Ward as part of the school’s ‘No Longer I’ program. Ms Rebekka Battista from ‘Our Kids’ came to the school to receive our soft toys and to take them to Lismore Base Hospital. She was very impressed with the quality of work and the spirit behind the project. 

Years Eleven and Twelve:

Year 11 and Year 12 are combining to make a care package for the drought appeal. https://www.echo.net.au/2019/08/drought-goes-west/  

I don’t know about you, but when I choose to give a little, or help someone out, or even live a little bit more for others, it is in these moments I find greater meaning and purpose, greater joy and reward. It is a little like what Jesus says when he is chatting to his people, “when we lay down our life we will find it”

So why RCC? Opportunities like No Longer I educate the whole child to become more who they were designed to be.

Good tidings!

Jonno

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