By Kyra Gillespie
A school play has inspired primary school-aged students from Nar Nar Goon to share the gift of giving to those less fortunate this Christmas.
After performing their end of year concert ‘Good Times’, which highlighted the plight of those facing homelessness, students at St James Primary School took it upon themselves to raise vital funds for the local St Vincent de Paul branch.
The play, which was written by St James teacher and Religious Education Leader Bernadette Hance, explored a modern take on the parable of the Prodigal Son.
“The play was enacted by the senior students to show how youth live in a digital world and have many challenges of today,” Ms Hance said.
“During the play, the homeless living in the streets were depicted respectfully and how there are organisations such as Vinnies who are there ready to help out.
“As a way of taking action, the Social Justice Crew (our senior students) decided to take up a collection after the play to support the efforts of St Vincent de Paul after learning about the plight of the homeless.
“This collection raised $737 which was an overwhelming effort by the St James community.”
Students worked through music lessons and lunchtimes for seven weeks preparing for the performance, which took place at the Cardinia Cultural Centre.
“The feedback from the community was overwhelming with many parents stating they couldn’t believe how well their children presented such a powerful show with music, singing, dancing and a heart-warming message too.”
A cheque was presented to St Vincent de Paul at St James Primary School on Friday 30 November.
“We want to give this money to St Vincent’s to give someone a second chance – even if it’s just a nice week or day,” Grade 6 student Adam said.
St Vincent de Paul volunteer Hank, from the Iona-Maryknoll division, welcomed the donation.
“Locally this money will help families in need for things such as food and bills,” Hank said.
“Christmas is an especially difficult time for families,” he added.