One Happy Chappy

Recog­ni­tion for pop­u­lar, hard-work­ing school chap­lain

Central and North Burnett Times - - OVER 50S -

LEXIE Cal­la­han seems to be known by a dif­fer­ent nick­name ev­ery time a stu­dent stops her for a chat.

Mrs C, Chappy, Happy Chappy, Mrs Chappy, it al­most seems strange when some­one calls out for Mrs Cal­la­han.

Mrs C takes care of stu­dents and staff from Gayn­dah State School, Coal­stoun Lakes State School and Bin­jour Plateau State School in her role as chap­lain.

For nearly six years she has sup­ported young­sters through times of grief, sad­ness and just day to day life is­sues.

On Tues­day Gayn­dah State School cel­e­brated her work with a Chappy Day.

Mrs Cal­la­han was away for Chap­laincy Week in May, but her stu­dents wanted to make sure she knew how much they cared about her

Spe­cial cards and mes­sages from all the classes were given to her at a morn­ing tea pa­rade, but not be­fore the teach­ers had a get to­gether in the staff room and sang a rous­ing ren­di­tion of Here’s to You Mrs Cal­la­han.

The pre­sen­ta­tion of cards was a touch­ing mo­ment and ev­ery stu­dent raised their hand when asked who used the Chappy Cor­ner.

“I was fight­ing back tears, it just blew me away,” Mrs Cal­la­han said.

“If you put the ef­fort in with the kids, they know.

“I’ve had so many peo­ple rush­ing up and giv­ing me hugs and say­ing hi; it’s re­ally awe­some.”

The Chappy Cor­ner at Gayn­dah State School pro­vides a range of sup­port and ac­tiv­i­ties for stu­dents.

“It’s about sup­port and en­cour­age­ment for the kids,” Mrs Cal­la­han said.

“Par­tic­u­larly af­ter the floods, we had a pro­gram called Bounce Back that was ac­tu­ally based on an­other flood.

“It’s about re­silience and teach­ing kids how to cope.

“The kids re­ally ben­e­fit from it.”

An­other ini­tia­tive started by Mrs Cal­la­han is the Brekkie Box

Each morn­ing there is fresh food and drinks avail­able for stu­dents and staff as well.

En­tirely run by do­na­tions, the Brekkie Box shows how an idea from one per­son can blos­som.

“We do it just to sup­port some of the kids that don’t have brekkie and we just chat with them and so­cialise,” Mrs Cal­la­han said

“I love my work.”

PHOTO: BRAN­DON LIVESAY

THANK YOU CHAPPY: Stu­dents from Gayn­dah State School with their cards for Chap­lain Lexie Cal­la­han.

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