Hands-on service learning program - Education Matters Magazine

Hands-on service learning program

A new series of service learning programs for schools in South Australia are providing hands-on immersive learning for students, designed to help teach social justice and complement classroom based teaching.

Since its inception in 2018, over 500 high school students have participated in Baptist Care SA’s Urban Education programs, with demand growing rapidly.

Baptist Care SA has worked with the state’s most disadvantaged people for over 100 years. With its roots in Adelaide’s West End, its inner city site is both a community centre and an Indigenous cultural hub that provides over 35,000 nutritious meals and close to 500 bed nights each year.

It is here that the Urban Education programs take place. A wealth of expertise and knowledge is shared with students through interactive sessions that inspire and motivate them to change their thinking and actions around important issues, such as homelessness and cultural awareness.

Designed to promote empathy and a holistic approach, activities are varied, including rough sleep outs, Q and A sessions with people with lived experiences, and practical help with meals preparation and service.

“Our Service Learning program is especially popular,” says Community Development Manager, Craig McGlone. “Students work alongside an experienced staff member who can answer their questions about the centre and its clientele, but they also interact face to face with members of the community as they come in off the streets. That’s invaluable – it really puts a human face on the cause and effects of homelessness.”

Along with Issues Around Homelessness and Aboriginal Cultural Awareness, Baptist Care SA is also beginning to run sessions around people seeking asylum.

Schools in South Australia wanting to learn more about the program can contact 08 8118 5200.

Image:Temple Christian College students help prepare and serve food to people experiencing homelessness, as part of Baptist Care SA’s Service Learning Program