Salem’s Social Service Groups Get Creative: How to Keep in Touch During Lockdown
by Sozialdienst Salem
Because our Social Service students could not meet with the primary school children they usually tutored, they kept in touch through games, handicrafts, and storytelling.

Normally Salem’s Social Service groups visit the special needs school in Stefansfeld and the primary school in Neufrach or are visited in the castle by some twenty local children once a week. Our students help the children with their schoolwork and play games with them. During the coronavirus pandemic it was not possible to continue these meetings, but the service groups found ways to stay in touch and also used their service time for further training.

“After the local children were no longer able to come to Salem Castle, we conducted a game workshop for ourselves. We learned about ways to playfully motivate primary school pupils to learn, for example through memory games for the alphabet and for arithmetic.” (David Romanovsky,10D1, Social Service Captain)

“In this game workshop we practiced the best ways to explain things to kids. Every game is based on the idea that each player has to play by the rules. For some children it is a challenge just to wait until it is their turn.” (Lucienne Villalpando, 9D1)

“Storytelling hour – with a difference. Because we cannot go into the local schools at this time, we recorded our stories and sent them to the caregivers, so that they could play them back to the children. We chose three really entertaining stories by Astrid Lindgren: Pippi Longstocking, Emil of Lönneberga and The Bullerby Children.” (Emma Koch, 10D2)

“In December 2020 we thought up ways we could make the Advent season nicer for the kids. We created handcrafted Advent calendars! We got together to draw and work on them collectively. Behind each door we hid a special drawing and the fronts were wonderful scenes of winter. We members of the service really enjoyed making something for “our” children.” (Madita Knaebel, 9D3)

“In November 2020, before the lockdown, we built a gingerbread house together. I helped with the painting of the house. It was important to me that the children learned to be patient and put the colours only in the right spaces. Afterwards we decorated the walls, door and window with gingerbread.” (Yuwen Wang,10D2)

“After the Christmas holiday, when we still had to stay at home, we tried to think of a way to do something nice for the children. Each student wrote a story for his or her child, together with pictures to be coloured in. We gave these to Barbara Neeff, the leader of our service group, to pass on to the children.” (Marlene Honl, 9D3)