COVID-19 has changed life as we know it. In this time of uncertainty and fear, hope is the antidote – and our chaplains are there to share that message with children and their families. For more information, visit suqld.org.au/bringhope.
Chappy Kevin works across three schools in Central Queensland, and although the grounds are much quieter than normal, one of the ways Chappy Kev brings joy and hope to his communities is with “Kev’s Story Time.”
Before COVID-19, Chappy Kev would read weekly books to the primary-aged students, and then they’d complete engaging worksheets or draw pictures that related to the story.
“It’s good to be a little bit creative in this season! When we knew everything was going online, I pre-recorded a bunch of stories that have a wellbeing theme – things like dealing with anger, or what to do when you’re feeling scared. The idea is that the teacher will watch the story online, then go through the worksheet with the kids in their class,” says Chappy Kev.
“It’s been fun watching the posts get a few hundred views. I rarely get to connect with as many parents as I am now, so that’s been awesome. One of the teachers who was a little anxious about transitioning to the online learning space, teared up when she saw me recording the story book videos.”
Teacher Carol Christensen, has been grateful for Chappy Kev’s ongoing support in this season of transition.
“Last Tuesday, when Chappy came to see me, I was feeling overwhelmed. His chat reassured me and reminded me that lots of teachers were feeling the same way,” says Carol.
“The new way of learning is still a bit overwhelming, but when we look back at the work produced every day, we can see how things are improving. I include Chappy Kev’s stories in my weekly learning activities, and have received feedback from parents to say the stories and advice Chappy shares are helping students to start their day well.”
“I’ll try not to get teary, but it is humbling and encouraging to know that Chappy is there to help. He is a vital part of our close school community.”
In addition to the education side of things, Chappy Kev is aware that students at home might be missing the familiarity of the school grounds.
“I also did some light-hearted filming through the oval and playground, telling the kids how much they’re missed at school. It’s important for the kids at home to stay connected to school, even though they can’t physically be there at the moment. It’s something familiar for them to see and reminds them that they aren’t forgotten.”
Like many chaplains across the state, Chappy Kev has enjoyed the opportunity to encourage and support the teaching staff.
“The fun videos are a great way to connect with the kids, but it’s critical for chaplains to be in schools right now for the teachers, too. They’re dealing with technology issues and juggling a whole range of online platforms – I’m there to check in to see how they’re going,” says Chappy Kev.
At this crucial time of year, please consider giving to our Bring Hope Appeal so communities like Chappy Kev’s can continue to receive the gift of hope in their time of need. Thank you for making a difference in the lives of others during this time. Visit suqld.org.au/bringhope today.