Pupils ‘pay it forward’
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
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.’’
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.