John Elliott: Exciting innovations at Richmond Road School - Sacha Connolly reports

Ponsonby News has once before reported innovative work at Richmond Road School. Now Sacha Connolly and her colleagues are at it again.

The latest project involves planting fruit trees in the school grounds. Along with help of Florence's class from L’Archipel (french unit), children a little older than Sachas’s, and a karakia from Te Whānau Whāriki, ten fruit trees have been planted. Richard, of Diabetes New Zealand, helped select the trees, and Bunnings helped with sponsorship. The French Unit held market sales to raise money, and suddenly the project was all go.

We planted the trees
for the fruit and the bees.
For the world around us.
The trees will grow
into a grown-up one day.
I felt happy that way.

The trees planted were two avocados, an orange and a mandarin, two plums, one lemon, two apples and a feijoa. What a great start. These young students are already saying, “we’ll be watching these trees as we walk past to intermediate", and they understand the importance to diet of five a day fruit and vegetables.

Student Charlie Montgomery wrote this: Everyone can get involved in things like that. All it takes is an idea and the ability to work hard enough to accomplish it. I was wanting to think of an idea that would help our whole school, and having something that could last much longer than my time there.

Fruit snacks are part of everyone’s day at Richmond Road and I thought having our own supply of fruit for those kids who can’t bring their own supply would be really helpful.
I wanted to see if we could get a local business to help us and Bunnings was awesome and super keen to help.

I hope we can keep making our forest bigger every year and maybe help the local community too. In the future if we have fruit left over we can donate it or sell some to buy supplies for the school like sporting equipment.

Sacha Connolly is clearly an inspirational teacher, full of enthusiasm and personality, and we at Ponsonby News congratulate her and her colleagues at Richmond Road School on their initiative.

All students there are getting the rub off from the French and Maori Units, and a karakia was said over each fruit tree as it was planted. (JOHN ELLIOTT)

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Published 5 November 2021