Titahi Bay goes the milky way
There haven’t been milk monitors in Wellington primary schools for 44 years, but since last Thursday they have been back at Titahi Bay North School.
Titahi Bay North is one of several Porirua schools signed up to Fonterra’s Milk for Schools programme. Pupils now get a 160ml carton of free milk each day.
Milk monitors were selected from year 7 pupils to help distribute milk to classrooms and teach younger pupils how to recycle their cartons.
The plastic in recycled cartons is turned into roof tiles for Thailand, and the paper is used to make exercise books for Vietnamese pupils.
Milk monitor Blake Rogers, 11, has been busy teaching his schoolmates how to correctly fold and dispose of cartons.
‘‘It has to be done a special way to make it easier for the recycler,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s folded in a way so even the straw has a place to go.
‘‘It’s good that the cartons are recycled and not just wasted.’’
It takes 30 cartons to make one roofing tile.
The monitors will hand out milk between 10am and 11am each day for pupils to drink during class.
The importance of letting pupils drink milk during class was discovered during the Milk for School’s pilot period at Maungaturoto Primary School in Northland.
Though it meant a little more slurping in the classroom, it allowed pupils to take charge and drink in their own time.
Titahi Bay North Principal Steven Caldwell said distributing in that way let teachers choose the best moment to let pupils open their milk.
‘‘Teachers will decide when the children needed an energy boost and let them sip it as it’s needed,’’ he said.
Schools programme delayed its Wellington launch following Fonterra’s recent public relations disaster over contaminated whey powder.
Mr Caldwell said he was confident Fonterra had taken all the steps to ensure the milk being sent to schools was safe.
‘‘They provided us with a certificate showing us that the milk was inspected,’’ Mr Caldwell said.
‘‘We also sent home letters to parents asking them to come forward with any concerns or questions.’’
Thirsty work: Monae Taitua-Te Kani was one of the first pupils at Titahi Bay North School to enjoy free milk.