Pro­gram teaches kids about can­cer

The Gazette (Derwent Valley) - - NEWS - SHAUN McMANUS

CAN­CER can be a dif­fi­cult sub­ject to dis­cuss, but a visit from a trav­el­ling pup­pet show has kick­started the con­ver­sa­tion at Molesworth Pri­mary School.

Camp Qual­ity is in the process of a two-week tour of Tas­ma­nia with its pup­pet show, vis­it­ing schools at­tended by chil­dren af­fected by can­cer, and the road­show reached Molesworth on Thurs­day.

The pup­pet show at­tempts to re­duce the like­li­hood of anx­i­ety and ex­clu­sion of a child af­fected by can­cer by spread­ing pos­i­tiv­ity and teach­ing school com­mu­ni­ties how to be sup­port­ive.

Camp Qual­ity pri­mary school ed­u­ca­tion pro­gram co-or­di­na­tor El­leni Kara­gian­ni­dis said there were two shows at Molesworth — one for prep to Year 2 stu­dents, and one for Year 3-6.

“Pup­pets are a great way to en­gage chil­dren and adults as well,” Ms Kara­gian­ni­dis said. “It’s a bit of a taboo sub­ject, can­cer, and so to be able to use a pup­pet to bring across those mes­sages that you’re want­ing chil­dren to learn and un­der­stand is a great way to do it.

“The kids ab­so­lutely love it.”

Ms Kara­gian­ni­dis said the stu­dents were en­gaged with the show.

“We had quite a lot of chil­dren come up, which hap­pens reg­u­larly, say­ing ‘we love the pup­pet show’,” she said.

“But one kid came up and went ‘Oh my good­ness, my mum has can­cer and I’ve learnt so much about it, I couldn’t un­der­stand what it was be­fore but I’ve learnt so much about it’.

“I en­cour­aged the child to then go home and have those con­ver­sa­tions with mum to let them know what they learnt and what they un­der­stand.”

Camp Qual­ity’s pup­pet show will re­turn to Tas­ma­nia in Novem­ber.

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