Community Action Project – by Lauren Morley, year 12 Kaipara College

As a student at Kaipara College, I have always admired the students’ passion and dedication to community involvement.
Undoubtedly, living in a small community contributes to this, as does Kaipara College’s  support and encouragement of their students when it comes to the things closest to our  hearts.
Introduced in 2019, Kaipara College holds an annual Community Action Project (CAP)  week. With a return to a more structured timetable this week takes place in Term Four of  the school year and is a chance for the juniors if the school – the Year 9s and 10s – to learn  more about their school and the local Helensville community. CAP week involves a  range of projects that are organised by both teachers and students with similar aspirations for the community. Project groups consist of two to four teachers and a large  group of students, all of which select their preferred project.
These projects allow students in Years 9 and 10 to get to know each other while  collaborating on projects they are interested in.
This, in turn, creates a stronger sense of community within the school as well as in the  local area. Passion is a huge part of these projects. The idea is to create change in an area  which each individual student or teacher will feel connected to. This year for example, a  group of students volunteered at Woodhill Sands, helping out with various activities on the  grounds. Another group spent their week helping to wrap gifts at Kindred Family  Services – an organisation which provides counselling, refuge and support groups for the local community.
As a current Year 12 student, I often reflect on my own experience during CAP week in my  Year 9, back in 2019. My personal choice was to join a group of students and three
wonderful teachers in making Christmas hampers to be donated to the Helensville Food  Bank. We all donated food items and then, in smaller groups, worked on other aspects of  our hampers.
We included homemade baking, Christmas decorations, small toys for children – which we  bought from the local recycling centre – and other essentials such as sanitary items  and blankets. We created around 12 hampers, all of which went to a family in need.
Simply seeing the gratitude from the volunteers at the food bank made it so worth it – knowing that our hard work was going to make a difference for 12 families at Christmas  time was such an amazing and rewarding feeling.

Christmas wrapping project group

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