Students’ social action day voted a sizzling success

The unlikely combination of a sausage sizzle, sumo wrestling and yellow-themed mufti day made for fun and hilarity last week when Raglan Area School students pulled together to support the local foodbank.

At the end of it all the year 11 social studies class had more than 17 boxes of cans and toiletries to donate to the cause, earning NCEA credits for themselves and a whole lot of kudos from families, teachers and Raglan Foodbank staff.

“It’s all about giving,” 15-year-old Grace Mindoro told the Chronicle as pairs of students wearing sumo suits wrestled each other to the floor in the gym with others cheering from the sidelines. “This is our social action to raise awareness of poverty in our community.”

Students, both junior and senior, had entered into the spirit of the day by giving a can of food in return for a sausage or to take part in planned activities like the wrestling during their lunch break.

Grace was one of the 15 or so who has been busy behind the scenes organising the venture, to meet the NCEA requirement of “participating in a social justice and human rights action”.

She says it has involved things like getting the school, then the community, on board by devising a motto – ‘Help a fam by giving a can’ – seeking  sponsorship from local businesses for the sausage sizzle, doing a live ad on Raglan Radio and keeping a log of their tasks.

“It’s taught us a lot,” she adds. “Like (that) the foodbank is not just for people in need but also works in with the (Raglan House) budgeting service.”

Foodbank manager Marian Wright and volunteer packer Marie McRae, who were at the school last Thursday afternoon to receive the pile of cans amassed in the gym foyer, said they were amazed at the students’ “great job” in boosting Foodbank supplies.

Social studies teacher Naomi Tovio was also delighted.

“The idea of giving to help others in our community created valuable learning opportunities,” she said. “And the students have helped make a small but positive difference to other people’s lives.”

Edith Symes

● Local sponsors included Raglan Four Square, Top Cut Butchery, The Raglan Project, Sayer Landscape Supplies and Robbie Regnier – LJ Hooker Real Estate.