Skill Hire Ernabella School Holidays Program

How the Ernabella school holiday program kept children in routine

The school holidays are always something children look forward to and the students of the APY Lands are no different. Skill Hire’s RSAS and CDP staff provide these students with plenty to do during the holiday periods, with staff in each community planning, organising and running activities.

The end of term 1 holiday period saw plenty of participation and interaction from the Ernabella community as a whole, not just from the children. Skill Hire’s RSAS Mentor in the Ernabella community, Joshua Althorpe, set up a well structured holiday plan and was fortunate to receive the assistance of other providers such as MIFSA, TAFE SA  and Bikes Palya with activities along the way.

To kick off the holidays, a sports and art day was run at the youth shed which included football, totem tennis and softball. Students were able to paint car bonnets from the scrap yard while the younger children coloured with pencils and chalk.

Football and softball remain very popular in the communities and were played most nights. There were a lot of activities run throughout the holidays also with tug a war, tightrope balancing, water bomb games and much more. Elder Anangu women also helped with some teaching along the way. From showing the kids how to make a fire and cook kangaroo tail, to what it means to have a strong family and being able to paint these messages.

A very popular event was the Saturday night disco. With assistance in supervision from the NPY Women’s Council, along with members of the community, Joshua was able to be the DJ for the night. Many senior secondary boys expressed interest in learning about DJ equipment so Josh organised a tutorial and DJ workshop for the following day.

Another successful event was a scavenger hunt just on the outskirts of community. With the assistance of TAFE SA and two ladies from community there were clues, animal tracks and answer animals spray painted in their required locations. The hunt lasted a few hours before the winners were crowned and given prizes.

There was great participation from Elder Anangu women along the way. Kids were shown how to make a good fire and cook kangaroo tail. They were also taught about the importance of a strong family and how to paint stories.

Bikes Palya organised a race day at the local bike track where RSAS staff were able to help supervise. MIFSA joined in on a day of art that ended with a BBQ to close out what was a successful school holiday program, with plenty of interaction and enjoyment.

Along with bringing communities together, these programs are a great way to keep kids in routine during their time off in preparation for the return to school. It is these types of positive outcomes which drive the Skill Hire school holiday programs.

Skill Hire Ernabella School Holidays Program
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