Canberra schools help South Coast kids affected by the bushfires to get back to school
An idea by teachers at St Anthony’s Primary School in Wanniassa has led to close to 300 backpacks filled with school supplies being on their way to South Coast kids affected by the devastating bushfires.
St Anthony’s classroom support assistant Angela Ryan raised the idea of the school doing something to help. That crystallised into collecting donations of school supplies to help ease the back-to-school rush a little.
A message was posted on social media. And shared and shared. Other schools including Holy Family at Gowrie, St Thomas the Apostle at Kambah and St John Vianney’s at Waramanga also became collection points. Government and non-government school communities made many donations.
“It’s just been overwhelming,” teacher Tracey Adamson said.
The donations meant that 273 backpacks complete with a drink bottle and lunch box and supplies including pencil cases, textas and gluesticks could be packed. There were also eight big bags of sports balls and 12 resource boxes of supplies for teachers.
Mrs Adamson said children at Mogo Primary School would be among the recipients.
They were liaising with contacts on the coast to get the supplies to where they were needed, to make sure they didn’t double up with donations.
“When we started we thought we would do something small and practical,” Mrs Adamson said.
“We also liked the idea that children could be involved in giving to others. To hear the stories and the people who have connections [to the fires] or who have no connection at all, has been overwhelming. People have just said, ‘We needed to do something, so here we are’.”
The generosity of Canberrans had been heartwarming. “We’re a city but we’re not really a city when this happens,” Mrs Adamson said.
And the teachers were happy to give up some of their holidays to coordinate the effort. “It gives us purpose,” she said.
The supplies will get to the children before the start of school in NSW at the end of the month.
“We’ve had offers for trucks and people to take it down,” Mrs Adamson said, adding they would wait until they got the all-clear it was safe to travel in the areas.
First published on The Canberra Times.