Today we say shine a light on Baringa School for the collective efforts of its students to help their community. Meals on Wheels, bush preservation, water testing, track clearing with the Department of Sustainability and Environment – Baringa’s young people just keep on giving.
Baringa School provides a comprehensive educational program for students who have an intellectual disability aged 5-18 years of age. The school has been running The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award since 1999, along with The Bridge Award, as a means providing enriching experiences that develop students’ social skills, confidence, self esteem and sense of value within the community.
For 14 years, young people from Baring School have been volunteering in their community through The Duke of Ed and Bridge. The impact of their efforts can be felt at both a personal and community level. Their generosity of spirit and genuine desire to help others inspires us to do more; help more; give more to our community.
Sarah Lawless, the Coordinator for the Baringa School Duke of Edinburgh’s Award program, tells us a bit more about the myriad ways these young people have been giving back to their communities.
‘I have loved watching our students achieve their goals in many different areas through The Duke of Ed and would like to highlight a few successes of our program.
‘Our students who complete The Bridge Award participate in a variety of volunteer activities each week including Meals on Wheels, volunteering at a local kindergarten and also at our local Kmart and op shops.
‘Students who completed the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh’s Award last year also participated regularly in volunteer activities including: water testing for Waterwatch at several locations, helping our local bushland reserve through weed management and removal, tree planting, track clearing and water testing. Students also made homes for local possums and helped local DSE staff clear tracks in the Mount Erica area.
‘It has been fabulous to see students focusing on their personal fitness and skill goals, as well as their volunteer efforts I have highlighted. Several students participated in volunteer activities for the first time and were motivated to provide assistance to others in the community. It has been a pleasure teaching and guiding students through this award and they should all feel so proud of their achievements in Duke of Ed – great work guys!’