Australian Christian College unites with Singleton Salvation Army

CHARITY: Students embrace their school's new tradition by donating Christmas presents to the Salvation Army..
CHARITY: Students embrace their school's new tradition by donating Christmas presents to the Salvation Army..

The acronym ACC has a double meaning on Kelso Street this month.

Members from the local “Australian Christian College” have united as a community with the Salvation Army to celebrate “A College Christmas”.

Newly appointed senior school team leader Katie Kelly, who was the mastermind of the project, hopes this tradition is here to stay.

 “We’ve started the initiative this year because we really wanted our kids to build a sense of community here,” Mrs Kelly explained.

“We want to start a culture where we prioritise serving as one of our main values because in today’s world many of us can enter Christmas self-orientated.”

A host of students and staff welcomed special guests Emma Parrey (Welfare Youth Minister) and Marie Loftus (Family Store Manager) of the Salvation Army to the school this week.

Both guests shared an informative presentation delving into the process of catering for the less fortunate members of the region each festive season.

The students then returned the favour by presenting the duo with a pile of presents which had been extending under the school’s new Christmas tree in recent weeks.

“We wanted the kids to be excited about Christmas so the deal was to find the biggest tree in the area,” she added.

OH CHRISTMAS TREE: Emma Parrey (Salvation Army Welfare Youth Minister) listens to Australian Christian College Singleton teacher Katie Kelly reflect on the initiative.

OH CHRISTMAS TREE: Emma Parrey (Salvation Army Welfare Youth Minister) listens to Australian Christian College Singleton teacher Katie Kelly reflect on the initiative.

“We had one of our teachers Mr. Kelly (geography and history specialist) to pop into the farm and grab the biggest tree he could find while on his way to school.”

“What was lovely was the kids were all waiting for the tree to arrive in the SLC (Student Learning Centre) and our staff had to screw it to the wall because it was so big.”

“This idea was also for our senior school to reach out to our College community to get the junior school more involved.”

“Often you’ll have smaller kids getting excited about Christmas and it’s easy for them to get that feeling but for the senior schools kids they now get excited to be role models.”

Junior classes were allocated different types of decorations for the tree while Year 11 students were scheduled to share stories of season’s past each afternoon.

“Christians may play down Christmas here but at ACC we want to emphasise that we want to remind everyone what is really important,” she continued.

CAR LOAD: Special guests Emma Parrey (Welfare Youth Minister) and Marie Loftus (Family Store Manager) of the Salvation Army with students.

CAR LOAD: Special guests Emma Parrey (Welfare Youth Minister) and Marie Loftus (Family Store Manager) of the Salvation Army with students.

“This is an initiative we want to keep growing in partnership with the Salvation Army because for our kids to hear the stories was important as well.”

“We do have some families that have it tough but none of them go without; so some of the students were really taken back when listening to half of their stories.”