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Mini Vinnies Group

This group is a selection of year 4 students who are involved in a social justice program at Stella Maris which is facilitated by Pastoral Support Worker, Grant Dodds.

It’s aim is to create an awareness of social justice issues in the Shellharbour region and in our world today.The program is based on the Mini Vinnies model of See, Think, Do.

An ‘executive’ committee of Year 5 and 6 students mentor the group. Using this ‘teach-the-teacher’ model, students are more likely to take ownership of the group and to maximize the learning experiences.

Students participated in an election to vote-in their leaders for this cohort of the program.

The program runs for an initial 10 student-centred, interactive sessions, followed by a major social justice project involving two separate but integrated elements:

  • Mission – could include a shopping trip where students are provided with a basic poverty-line budget, visits to a soup kitchen, homeless shelter, etc. The idea here is for the students to be actively involved in community service, where they are giving back to the community in a meaningful way.
  • A fundraising component will see students raising funds for the Vinnies Winter Appeal. The culminating project will incorporate Creative Arts and IT skills and will demonstrate student awareness and ability to communicate that awareness to others. It will involve either a songwriting project, short film project or a student-produced radio program.

The selection of students for the program was subject to a set of criteria, as listed below. The Mini Vinnies group sought students who:

  • are prepared to give up their lunchtime once a week
  • have demonstrated responsibility and dependability
  • have demonstrated leadership skills
  • are proactive
  • have demonstrated interest in social justice issues.