Swap­ping out the choco­late

Central Leader - - FRONT PAGE - CATRIN OWEN

It’s out with the choco­late and in with the tooth­brushes for Hills­bor­ough Pri­mary School.

The school has swapped sell­ing sweets for a health­ier choice.

Elizabeth Ryan, sec­re­tary of the PTA Friends of Hills­bor­ough Pri­mary School, says the ini­tia­tive started this term.

‘‘I used to work at a pub­lic health group and there was al­ways th­ese on­go­ing dis­cus­sions with mums about how we don’t have enough healthy fundrais­ers.

‘‘I’ve seen the chil­dren who don’t brush their teeth and are start­ing school with holes in their teeth,’’ Ryan says.

The tooth­brushes are be­ing sold as an al­ter­na­tive to the usual choco­late bars to raise money for the school and also en­cour­age good oral health.

Twin­kle Tooth is not your or­di­nary tooth­brush, it flashes for two min­utes, which is the amount of time the New Zealand Den­tal As­so­ci­a­tion rec­om­mends for brush­ing.

So far the PTA has sold 170 tooth­brushes to pupils at a cost of $5 per brush, with $2 go­ing to the school.

The ini­tia­tive is a stark con­trast of the school’s past fundrais­ers which in­cluded sausage siz­zles and donuts.

‘‘If you grew up in New Zealand it’s al­ways been junk,’’ Ryan says.

She says there has been a pro­gres­sive change in im­proved health out­comes for the pupils.

CATRIN OWEN

Ella Men­zies, Josh Vossen-Chong, Sid­dhraj Solanki and Jessica Ryan test out their new tooth­brushes.

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