Going to school in pyjamas is the stuff of bad dreams for most children, but for Russell Street School pupils and teachers it was all for a good cause.
"Pyjama Day", which raised $471 to provide lunches for children at lower-decile schools, was the brainchild of a group of Year 3 pupils, all aged 7.
Jayden Milbank said the group wanted to help hungry children after their teacher, Sonita Cribb, showed them a segment of a television programme on pupils who could not afford to bring lunch to school.
"We did this for KidsCan because some Kiwi kids haven't been getting that much lunch, so we have to help KidsCan to get them money so they can get more food, so they can concentrate with their learning," he said.
Mrs Cribb said it all began when the class discussed a Junior Journal story called "No Lunch".
"They had no idea," she said. "They thought the only reason you would have no lunch is if you just forgot it. They couldn't even envisage it happening."
She said she showed them the video in class and it had an immediate impact.
"They were just so passionate about it, instantly."
She asked them to watch it with their families and discuss it with them.
"That's when their thinking changed, from thinking it's the kids' fault and they were naughty for not packing their lunches. So after watching at home their parents must have had some amazing discussions with them as well."
The children wanted to do something to help and came up with the idea of a pyjama day, with everyone wearing sleepwear asked to make a donation.
The video was also shown to the rest of the school to promote the idea.
Jaimie Livingstone said the group also made posters and put them up around the school to promote the day. "We raised $471," he said.
Mrs Cribb said she was amazed at the amount collected.
"Some people donated $20."
Although some of the children said they were a little embarrassed at first to go to school in pyjamas, they all said they had fun and were happy the event had been successful.
"I feel good because I raised money for other kids, so that they can get to be like us," said Phoebe Jensen.
- Manawatu Standard
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