When Gloucester Public School teacher, Berrill Ley decided to give her year three and four students a hands on lesson in the value of helping others, little did she know how far the kindness would go.
During term three of the 2019 school year, Berrill got her students involved in making dolls for Project KIN, a project providing learning materials to Australian children in need. The students worked hard to help make up 50 Play and Learn Packs, including a doll, doll accessories, a storybook, an activity book, colouring pencils, a bookmark and a calico backpack which are handed out to children around the country.
But on December 11, three GPS students, Jess Marchant, Brodie Baker and Liam Wamsley were able to hand the packs directly to Mid Coast children in need.
After the devastating bushfires destroyed parts of Bobin Public School in November, Berrill contacted Project KIN to ask if they could give a few packs to the Bobin students. As well as the backpacks, Berrill also organised for GPS to donate a bit of stationery for the older students. Then she reached out to a couple of parents who'd been very active in making the dolls to ask them to help the children deliver the packs to Wingham Public School where the Bobin students had set up a temporary classroom.
It was completing the circle of giving for the students, being able to see the faces of the children they were helping.
Berrill said she was so impressed by how professionally Jess, Brodie and Liam presented themselves and represented GPS.
"We got lots of messages of gratitude and were told how it brought a lot of joy and happiness to the students," Berrill said.
With a few packs leftover, Berrill hunted for more children affected by the fire and delivered the remaining bags to a preschool in Tinonee.