Learning through service
March 9, 2023
Community Service is highly valued at TIGS. We want to form children and young people who are alert to the needs of others. One way we do that is by curating service experiences for our students while they are at TIGS. Most of this service occurs during school hours.
In Year 11, students are involved in a unique Community Service initiative. Each student commits to serving some of the most vulnerable groups in our community in their own time. This includes service to people who are disadvantaged and people with disabilities.
In this unique service programme, students are presented with a range of service opportunities to consider. Some of the options include working with The Disability Trust on their Sport and Recreation Services programme which provides a range of activities across the Illawarra for people with disabilities; working with some of the local Churches on their food and friendship ministries for people who are disadvantaged; and volunteering with the Sony Camp which provides a three-day adventure camp for people with disabilities.
Last Sunday some of our students made a start to their service commitments by attending the Disabled Surfing event at Port Kembla Beach. Students joined a team of 140 volunteers to assist 35 participants enjoy the refreshment and thrill of a day at the beach. Volunteers assisted the participants to go out on a surfboard with one volunteer remaining on the back of the board to assist with steering and safety. The volunteers then formed a human runway as the participant and their navigator rode into shore. Sometimes there is a look of abject fear in the eyes of the participants, but mostly there is a great big beaming smile. It is a day of immense joy for the participants and deep satisfaction for the volunteers.
I believe the Year 11 Community Service programme is one of the most important aspects of a TIGS education. The programme is one expression of what it means for us to be a Christian School. Often as our students reflect on their service experiences, this programme stands out as one of the most impactful. I look forward to leading Year 11 through this valuable opportunity.