Pupils ‘pay it for­ward’

Central Leader - - NEWS - By ROSE CAW­LEY

IT LOOKS like Santa’s work­shop but it’s ac­tu­ally a class­room at an Auck­land School.

The chil­dren at Ko­hia Ter­race School have been busy work­ing around the clock sort­ing do­nated presents, wrap­ping them ready for the Sal­va­tion Army and bak­ing treats to share with their fel­low stu­dents.

Uj­val Gupta, 11, says Room 13 stud­ied what char­i­ties do over the Christ­mas pe­riod to bridge the gap for many Kiwi fam­i­lies and de­cided the stu­dents should chip in as well.

He says with Christ­mas only hap­pen­ing once ev­ery year, peo­ple should take the time to check that their neigh­bours, friends and com­mu­nity mem­bers have enough to make ends meet.

‘‘No-one should have to miss out,’’ he says.

‘‘At least once in your life some­one will help you, so you should do that for oth­ers and pay it for­ward.’’

He says the re­sponse from other chil­dren in the school has been heart­warm­ing.

‘‘Just go­ing into

the class­rooms and see­ing how much peo­ple have con­trib­uted has been amaz­ing,’’ he says.

Teacher Syl­vana Fer­nando says the stu­dents have picked the idea up and run with it.

‘‘Com­pared to some, many of the kids in this class are priv­i­leged,’’ she says.

‘‘This idea to pay

it

for- ward was a great way to en­gage them in help­ing oth­ers.

‘‘Orig­i­nally it was a way to say thanks for those who do­nated but we felt that didn’t sit with the Christ­mas spirit which was driv­ing what we were do­ing.

‘‘Now we are just do­ing it for all and not ex­pect­ing any­thing in re­turn.’’

Photo: ROSE CAW­LEY

Early em­pa­thy: Ko­hia Ter­race School stu­dents Ei­jaz Mo­hamed, 10, Lucy Horsnell, 10, Uj­val Gupta, 11, and Milly Kolovos, 11, show off a hand­ful of the presents their class­room has col­lected.

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