The moment you walk into Redfern’s Jarjum College you can see the evidence all around you that this is a special place. The iconic statue of Mum Shirl guards the doorway, and the smell of frying onions from the kitchen floats past.
Redfern Jarjum College is a school for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children who are not flourishing in mainstream primary schools, as a result of their domestic circumstances.
Story Factory has been working there with a Year 3 and 4 class, led by our Storyteller and Speech Pathologist Tommie and a brilliant group of volunteers, their teacher, an Aboriginal Community Liaison Officer and occasionally parents, in supporting a group of very busy 8 – 10 year olds in writing about food.
In this small group our student Cash stands out because of his boundless enthusiasm. Cash is always eager to share his work, and to verbalise his ideas, but his challenge is getting those ideas onto the page and actually writing.
Our Food Glorious Food creative writing program has been perfect for Cash, focussing his amazing imagination onto writing down his ideas, using prompts about listing favourite flavours and imagining crazy new taste sensations.
Tommie says, “Cash’s enthusiasm for the workshops helped direct how the other kids responded, making it fun and cool to write.”
Tommie was particularly impressed that Cash was able to lead the group in sharing ideas and modelling what enthusiastic participation looked like, coming up with the brilliant idea to create disgusting ice cream flavours, which his classmates enthusiastically endorsed. They came up with some truly foul concoctions including: ‘oil paint, ‘shattered glass’ and ‘poopy smudge’!
We asked Cash what he liked best about the workshops with Story Factory: “That you can make up imaginary stuff. I feel happy writing stuff,” which is an excellent start to Cash realising his life’s ambition – to become a rapper.
“I know I really want to be a rapper but I don’t know yet what else I should be. I love TuPac. And Biggie.”
When we asked him what he was proudest of this term, Cash immediately answered, “once I did a whole piece of paper, you had to do it in one minute and I did it in half! So it was paper about this big [throws his hands wide] and I did the questions THAT fast!” – phew, that’s fast!
We can’t wait to start back with Redfern Jarjum College again this term and see what else Cash and the gang come up with.
My Ice-Cream Store! – by Cash
I am Cash,I run Cash’s ICE CREAM STORE
there are flavours in my freezer
you have never seen before!
eight amazing creations
too delicious to resist
why not do yourself a favour,
try the flavours on my list:
licking hairy legs
rat and bat poop
poop and pee.
– From our ‘Food, Glorious Food’ creative writing program