Aspiring teacher masters art of connection

Published:21 April 2020

Education (Primary) student Abbey Magee is collection artwork from kids to pass onto people in nursing homes, locked down due to the COVID-19 crisis.

She’s yet to hit the classroom, but an aspiring teacher is already inspiring kids’ creativity, with a colourful plan to connect people isolated by the COVID-19 crisis.

Sunshine Beach resident Abbey Magee has called on families from across Australia to create letters and artworks to brighten lives for aged care home residents affected by the lockdown.

The second-year CQUniversity Bachelor of Education (Primary) student has connected with five Sunshine Coast nursing homes to pass on the creative correspondence, and is already being inundated with thoughtful mail.

“I’ve always wanted to be a teacher - I just love little kids’ enthusiasm, and know how much creativity can come out of their minds!” Abbey said.

“Since coronavirus lockdowns started, I know a lot of kids have been looking for more activities to do at home – and because my granddad is in aged care, I knew a lot of elderly people were no longer getting visitors, too.”

“It’s something small that can bring a lot of joy, and I think kids really understand the excitement of opening a letter, too.”

Last week Abbey took her idea to Facebook, and hundreds of people wanted to get involved, as well as aged care centres across Noosa, Carramar, Kabara, and Peregian Springs.

The 19-year-old said the project wasn’t limited to kids, either.

“I’ve got all my friends writing letters too, even my Mum is including one!” she said.

“People are sharing their stories of what they’re doing in isolation, and hopefully it gives our old people the message, you’re not alone, we are all in this together.”

Due to the coronavirus restrictions, Abbey has been completing her studies online through CQUniversity, and said she’s realised the importance of connecting with students.

“I was a bit worried about studying online only, but it’s been really great – and seeing how it works will be so important for when I am a teacher, and needing to provide online learning for my students, too,” she explained.

And her letter-writing project will be an on-going experiment in creating new connections.

“I would love to keep it going even after the pandemic is over – there’s a lot of people out there who are isolated, and being able to bring them some joy is really exciting.”

To contribute to the project, send letters and artwork via CQUniversity Noosa campus, to:

Attn: Abbey Magee
CQUniversity Sunshine Coast
PO Box 1128
Noosaville BC QLD 4566