All of us remember a teacher who has changed our lives. For the Year 5 students at Reservoir West Primary, Jacinta is that teacher.
As a teacher, Jacinta is especially empathetic to the needs of local families and has first-hand experience with just how tough some of them have it. This experience encouraged her to invite her mum, Jill and Jayne, our Schools Partnership Officer to have a chat with her students.
Jacinta believes that this talk allowed her students to realise they could make a difference. Her students wanted to know whom we help, our purpose, and finally, they wanted to know how they could help kids their age who were less fortunate than them. From there, Jacinta and our speakers managed to get around 35 students to help Big Group Hug and participate in their Huggers Club.
The Huggers Club decided to meet every week at lunchtime. They did everything from creating colouring books and stationery packs, to building board games and even went into the warehouse itself. They also wrote a letter to their principal and decided to fundraise for us!
Jacinta believes that her students would work and participate in the Huggers Club every lunchtime if they could. She finds that the club has helped her students build important skills like empathy, teamwork and generosity, and made them driven to create change.
The school has put up a donation Collection Tub, that Jacinta emptied around 12 times during the Covid-19 lockdown. The school always participates in the PJs, Jocks, Singlets & Socks Campaign which calls out for new and unused items. They’ve also done a casual dress day that raised nearly $1,000.
“I think it’s a community that really want to give,” Jacinta says as she talks about how generous the rest of the school community have been. To anyone who is thinking about supporting Big Group Hug, she says, “just do it – it’s so rewarding.”