The Melbourne Girls Grammar Early Learning Centre (ELC) has been rated as Exceeding National Quality Standards under the National Quality Framework (NQF). “Collaborative partnerships with families and communities” was identified as one of the key quality areas in which the ELC is exceeding.
Despite dropping temperatures, spirits are soaring at the Melbourne Girls Grammar Early Learning Centre (ELC). Today, more than 400 items of winter clothing were donated to St Kilda Mums, a not-for-profit organisation that sources pre-loved baby goods and children’s clothing for families in need.
The generous donation, that included an array of scarves, jackets, coats and gloves, was the result of a two-week program where ELC Educators encouraged girls to reflect on the importance of warm apparel and how they could help girls who may not have access to such cosy winter clothing.
According to ELC Co-Educator Marisa Mercuri, who heads up the ELC Community Committee, this kind of “intentional teaching” helps girls develop empathy and empowers them to “make a difference” to the lives of girls of a similar age.
“Children need to be socially aware of others in their community and of those who may not be as fortunate,” says Mercuri. After lots of thoughtful discussion between ELC South Yarra staff and students, the girls began to brainstorm ways they could help make winter a little warmer for less-fortunate families.
With help from Mercuri and the ELC Community Committee, the girls identified the St Kilda Mums’ Coats for Kids initiative as an ideal platform to channel their community spirit. This winter, the Coats for Kids project aims to collect 1,000 winter coats for babies and children in need.
Coat collection points were set up in each ELC learning studio and girls were encouraged to bring in good-quality, preloved coats – along with hats, gloves and other essential winter woollies. Before long, the pile of ponchos, plush coats and scarves was overflowing.
Mercuri says witnessing the generosity of the ELC 3-year-old kindergarten and 4-year-old kindergarten girls and their families has become a familiar feature of her eight-year tenure at the Melbourne Girls Grammar Early Learning Centre. “Even at their very young ages, our girls have already developed a deep level of respect and empathy for others – it’s really beautiful to see,” says Mercuri. The team at St Kilda Mums echoes that sentiment.
St Kilda Mums’ volunteer and Melbourne Girls Grammar Old Grammarian President Trudie Horsfall, describes the Early Learning Centre’s contribution as “very generous”. “St Kilda Mums is looking forward to passing on these cherished coats and clothing to families who need them most,” she says. “I’m so thrilled that MGGS is initiating this kind of philanthropy from its youngest students at the ELC. These heartfelt acts of giving help maintain my enormous pride in both the school and its values.”
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