St Joseph's All Stars

For the eleventh consecutive year students of St Joseph’s High School, Aberdeen, recently hosted the All Stars program from 9-14 January.

The All Stars program has been designed to give the families of clients from integratedliving and other services a period of well-earned respite and for those with a form of disability, an opportunity to have some fun with their peers and join with the St Joseph’s students as equals.

The program involves drama, art, music, cooking, dance workshops and science experiments, which the students of St Joseph’s volunteer to plan, conduct and participate in.

This year about 140 volunteer students from Year 7 to 12, including some Year 6 students who had not yet begun high school, assisted 52 clients throughout the week. Participation in the workshops culminates in a concert for members of the community to enjoy at the end of the week.

Principal Robert Holstein participated in the week-long event but the organisation was undertaken by a core group of Year 12 students and Chic Taylor from integratedliving.

“The program is run extremely well by our students. In fact, our current cohort of Year 11 students is already planning for All Stars 2018. They are dedicated and keen to keep the program going,” said Mr Holstein

Chic Taylor, Team Leader Overton Services, integratedliving, is very pleased with the students’ efforts in planning and participating in the event.

“The program is designed for the clients, but it is not only about the clients, it is about the students also, the growth in many of the students over the week is great to see. They start out shy and reserved, but by the end of the week they have gained so much self-confidence. Likewise, the clients’ self-confidence grows throughout the week too,” said Ms Taylor.

The benefits of the program do not stop there. The clients and students are always encouraged to have a go and think outside the box and the students have formed firm friendships with the clients.

If students see clients around the town, they always say hello and stop for a chat. “It is a very, very powerful program,” emphasised Ms Taylor.

We look forward to seeing what All Stars will bring us in 2018.

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