With one loaf of bread ...

Auckland City Harbour News - - FRONT PAGE - By ROSE CAW­LEY

TRAD­ING one loaf of bread for a house sounds im­pos­si­ble.

But that is ex­actly what a class­room of chil­dren at Grey Lynn School wants to do.

The kids kicked off the With One Loaf project three weeks ago – hop­ing they’d end up with a house to pro­vide to a de­serv­ing fam­ily.

The aim was to start with one sin­gle loaf of bread and keep trad­ing for items with more value un­til they reached their goal.

Four trades on and they’re sit­ting pretty with a brand new toi­let, two de­signer cush­ions and two pre­mium cin­ema seats from a movie the­atre in Auck­land.

Now the stu­dents are look­ing to make their next barter.

Teacher Grant O’Con­nor says driv­ing to work, see­ing peo­ple liv­ing it rough on the streets and hear­ing about peo­ples’ hous­ing strug­gles pushed him to do more.

‘‘In New Zealand it is so hard for any­one to get a house let alone peo­ple who don’t earn two full in­comes – they could be solo par­ents, on a sick­ness ben­e­fit or hold­ing down mul­ti­ple low in­come jobs – for them a house can be im­pos­si­ble.’’

‘‘So I said: ‘Let’s step out and tackle this. Let’s give them the im­pos­si­ble’.’’

O’Con­nor says he wants the chil­dren to see the project through, no mat­ter how long it takes.

Stu­dent Ethan Hall, 9, says the class has been stirred by the po­ten­tial reach of the project.

‘‘We know it can be done be­cause a guy in Amer­ica started with a red pa­per clip and 14 trades later he ended up with a house,’’ he says.

‘‘We might be young but if we can do some­thing like this then ev­ery­one can and that way ev­ery­one would end up with a house.’’

Ethan says tak­ing on a mam­moth task isn’t the daunt­ing part.

‘‘If we fail it would show how self­ish the world we live in is so I re­ally hope that doesn’t hap­pen.

‘‘That would be a dis­ap­point­ment. I want to be­lieve peo­ple will support us.’’

Emily Al­lan, 8, says a car would be a great item for their next up-trade.

‘‘It doesn’t mat­ter if we get a house, or an apart­ment, or a mo­tel as long as some­one can live in it,’’ she says.

‘‘We just want to help some­one in des­per­ate need.’’

The stu­dents traded the loaf of bread for two DVDs, then the DVDs for eight Nin­tendo Wii games.

They were also do­nated a Wii con­sole and then swapped the Wii bun­dle for a brand new toi­let.


Trade up: Grey Lynn School stu­dents Ethan Hall, Ruby Honore, Emily Al­lan and Koen Det­tling are ready to trade a toi­let as part of their class­room project, With One Loaf. The class want to con­tinue to trade items un­til they can se­cure a house for a de­serv­ing fam­ily.

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