Spider Webs and Snail Mail

26 March 2018

By Simone Penkethman (BCS Communications)

There’s always a story just waiting to be found whenever I visit one of Belconnen Community Service’s School Aged Care programs. At Charnwood After School Care, it’s a story about active bodies and active brains, without a screen in sight.

When I arrived at the school hall, the first children I spoke to were very excited about their post office.  They’d spent the last five days building mailboxes and writing letters. Along with the post office itself, people had made their own letterboxes so that they could receive their letters.  I was intrigued. What makes primary school aged children, in the digital age want to make a post office?

Alyssa said that it was all her idea, “It’s fun to do and everyone can join in.”

Lila said that letters are good when people don’t want to talk about problems, “you can fix it with a letter.”

Lilly said, “If people are shy and they’ve had a fight, maybe a letter can say sorry if they’re too scared to say it to someone’s face”, she paused thoughtfully and then added that a letter could also be helpful if someone is deaf because then they could read the letter.

We headed outside to take some photos. I met more children who were throwing frisbees, kicking balls, sitting on benches talking to each other, and balancing objects, one on top of the other.

People kept talking about the spider web.  I thought that would be something to stay away from, or maybe something to carefully investigate.  An hour flew by and it was nearly time to go. We started to pack up the post office and take it back inside but people still wanted to play with the spider web.  Then one of the workers told me that the spider web is actually a piece of play equipment.

We went through a gate and into another play area and there was the spider web, huge and tall and obviously a joy to climb. For another half an hour, I took photos, talked to the children and was transported back to my own childhood on the monkey bars. It was great to be reminded of that wonderful feeling of being light and strong, of climbing, swinging and hanging upside down.  Thanks Charnwood children, that was the best Friday afternoon I’ve had for quite a while!

photo of two girls with cardboard letterboxes photo of cardboard mailbox  photo of boys with ball and fresbeephoto of two girls playing outside

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