St Joseph’s Big Share!

Our Education Volunteer Linda Heneghan from Reading has been busy this term visiting schools for CAFOD’s Harvest Fast Day. She has been joined by a very special companion… our puppet Francesca, who has made a lot of friends over the last few weeks!
Here is what Francesca had to say about hers and Linda’s recent visit to St Joseph’s College in Reading:

“Last Friday I had to get up really early to get to St Joseph’s College Prep School for their Harvest Assembly at 8.30. What a brilliant time I had. The Headteacher Mrs Hope introduced me to all the girls and boys, and some guests and parents. The children looked so joyous and happy in their bright red uniforms. In the first part of the assembly children from each class brought a box of food to the table, this was just a small part of the harvest collection that they had made for a local charity CIRDIC (Churches in Reading Drop in Centre) – you can see me in one of the boxes, in the pictures above.

Then it was time for the Year 5s to tell the school about the Big Share!
We were in the hall for 45 minutes, so you can imagine how much hard work they put into it. These are some of the exciting things they did:
– They told everyone about CAFOD and what it stands for.
– They took the letters in the word HARVEST and made other words linked together by a story: EARTH, SHARE, STARVE, HEART, TEARS.That was so clever.
– They explained about 1 in 8 people going to bed hungry every night.
– Mayling and her grandmother Marta told us what life was like for them and how they cannot work when they become sick from lack of food.
– They dramatised Matthew 25: “I was hungry, thirsty, a stranger, naked, sick, or in prison and you fed, gave me drink, welcomed me, clothed me, visited me, came to see me.” This was so beautiful in its simplicity.
– They sang and they prayed.

Their teacher, Mrs Fleming, who had prepared the assembly, was away sick. What a shame because she had worked so hard with the children. But they really did her proud! One of the other teachers stepped in to say Mrs Fleming’s parts.
Well, you can imagine Linda and I were so moved that we were nearly in tears at the end of the worship. It took us a few moments to compose ourselves as the headteacher asked us if we would like to say something.

When all the other years and the parents left the hall, the Year 5s hadn’t finished… instead, they set up the hall with all sorts of exciting stalls to raise money for CAFOD. They had come up with brilliant ideas. Here are some of them: CAKES (yum), name the teddy, how many sweets in the jar, conker men, lucky dip, guess the celebrity, how many colours am I wearing, air hockey, book stall, operation, sticky darts, and a stationery stall! Each class in the school was allowed to come to the hall and spend some money. Linda and I stayed for about an hour. Those year 5s and their teacher are absolute stars. That FANTASTIC class had spent days preparing not only the assembly but all the activities as well! I am so looking forward to hearing how much they raised and to visiting them again soon.

It took me a few days to catch my breath!”

A huge thanks to Linda and Francesca for visiting the school to thank everyone for their efforts, and a very very special thanks to St Joseph’s College and particularly the Year 5 pupils for all their creativity and for coming up with such brilliant ideas to raise money for CAFOD. You are stars! 🙂

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