Year six students from Dunsandel School helped clean the local fire station and trucks as part of the William Pike Challenge

Students serve community

by Ann van Engelen

The year six students at Dunsandel School gave back to the community last week and cleaned the fire station as part of their commitment to the William Pike Challenge.

“The students have the responsibility of running certain aspects of the school to enhance their leadership ability,” says teacher Kate McCoy.

“They are bus monitors, library assistants, have lunch duties and other jobs to enhance their leadership and 21st-century skills around reliance, confidence and connectedness. A teacher suggested we participate in the William Pike Challenge. Mr Pike was caught in an eruption on Ruapehu and set up the youth development programme to prepare our youth for the future.

“The challenge entails 20 hours of community service, 20 hours of passion projects, including hobbies and skills, and we do at least five educational lessons outside the classroom during the year. These help children gain perseverance as they push through to master their topics.

“They are learning ukulele with a teacher at school, and we went to a beach in February and learned water safety and boogie boarding. We decided on helping the fire brigade as members of our community are firefighters. The students did all the jobs that the team would do on a Wednesday night training including vacuuming, washing the floors and bathrooms. Two brigade members got the truck out for them, and the children really enjoyed the experience to help out and thank the staff for the wonderful job they do for us. Each term one of our year six teams will do the same thing.

“We are really proud of our pupils and are looking forward to other opportunities coming up.”