After School Club-EAST - Ebenezer All Saints Together
Ebenezer Baptist Church in Coalville, building relationships with All Saints School
Drawing on the experience and memories of older members of the church
A wonderful opportunity for younger and older generations to meet
On Thursday, 15 June a lively group of eight pupils from All Saints met for the first time with a group of seniors from Ebenezer Baptist Church to begin to find out what life was like in Coalville in the past. The sessions were intended to be a taster and, if proved popular, would go ahead in September, drawing on the experiences of these three weeks.
Over a glass of squash and a piece of cake, the children suggested various names for the club. The name, EAST, which is the initial letters of Ebenezer All Saints Together, came out top in our vote. It was the brainchild of one of the girls who spotted the potential for a short but meaningful name.
We talked about school clothes and compared what the children wear today with what the seniors wore in the 1960s. From here we were able to draw the uniforms and begin our display board.
The second week continued the theme of schooling, with two of the team dressed in academic caps and gowns. The museum loaned us some items from their collection including an 1890s 'laptop' with real ink in the ink bottles. The children loved the pens which had to be dipped in ink, and soon were able to copy some of the exercises from the pre-war copy books. Photos of classes from schools around Coalville from Edwardian times were a popular talking point.
The idea of punishment that was meted out in the past proved amusing, with several children actually wanting to write lines – but only if they could use the 'dippy pen'. The cane was also something of a draw, with the children practising their skills on a cushion.
The final week saw an end of term party, with a bit of a difference. Stuart and Steve from the Coalville Heritage Society brought in a variety of record players ranging from one of the earliest wind-up machines, through to the record players of the 1960s.
Since then, we have had four sessions of our new EAST After School Club with children from the local All Saints School. The club is for Years 5 and 6 and is themed around our older folk’s memories of the 1960s. We have been looking this time at food, farming and crops. The children were able to grind flour on an old millstone and the session ended with cooking soup '1960s' and 'modern' style in the school kitchen.
Our next sessions will be based around shopping, bygone shops in Coalville, old currency and weights and measures. The Club has opened up great relationships with school and we will be leading an Assembly towards the end of November.
This, for a small, ageing fellowship where we have had no children in church for a generation or more, is a wonderful opportunity and a great challenge.
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