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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Jacinta washes dishes for the tsunami victims

It's nearly 4.00 p.m. on a Friday afternoon. I am the last person left in the library. The last three weeks have been exhausting if satisfying. I meant to be out of here by 3.30.

Jacinta didn't care for the other Girlfriend book, but is now reading my book, Crime Time: Australians behaving badly, which has short chapters and is easy for a reluctant reader to get through in bites.

This afternoon, she and some other girls were washing dishes that had been donated for the Samoa appeal. Some were so filthy that they simply couldn't bring themselves to send them out, even though the recipients will wash them anyway. It is disrespectful.

They continued to pack boxes. We can't get anywhere near enough boxes for all the donations flowing in!

The girls who had made cakes and sweets finished selling them to staff and students and raised $82.30 in all.

Three students went to the local charity shops today and picked up what must have been $2000 worth of second-hand - but clean - toys for about $160. They had raised the money and were entitled to have a say in how it was spent. The token male student made sure there were toys for boys.

These will go to the children who have lost homes and perhaps parents through the tsunami.

Two of my students designed a card to go with each box. They asked me for suggestions about what they should write, but I advised them to write what was in their hearts - and they did. One of them, James, had shown a gift for design, so I asked him to do it, while Adrian had been on the shopping trip for the toys - which range from small plastic dolls of both genders to huge fluffy toys. We scored a Pooh Bear, giant animals, and someone seems to have donated a purple elephant!

We hope that next week we can get one or both of our large newspapers to come and grab the photo opportunity, as long as they don't dismiss it as an education story.

And yet, the kids have learned a lot - some have discovered talents they never knew they had. They have shown entrepreneurial skills which will stand them in good stead later.

This is all I can say about it for now. Stand by for some book reviews - I have the new Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy title, the new Juliet Marrillier book and the latest Scott Westerfeld YA title.

Forgive the diversion!

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