Brookby School's community spirit displays on Ag Day

Brookby Primary School kids are looking forward to their annual Ag Day: Kaitlyn Bingham and her pig Pumba, Sophia Harris ...

Brookby Primary School kids are looking forward to their annual Ag Day: Kaitlyn Bingham and her pig Pumba, Sophia Harris and her lamb Cupcake, and Anthony Rawnsley and his lamb Caramilk.

Children and teachers of a South-East Auckland primary school are hoping for a sunny day when it comes to their annual Agriculture Day.

An office at Brookby School is piled up with colourful lolly jars, posters and other items to be used at the fundraising event on September 24, from 10am-2pm.

There will be sweets stalls, a barbecue, helicopter rides, pony rides, a kids' corner with different games, and a replica trophy of the America's Cup, lent to the school by the Royal NZ Yacht Squadron, on display for people to have a photo with.

To reduce impact on the environment, the event uses cutlery and bowls that can be composted, and encourages people to use recyclable shopping bags, says the school secretary Nichola Norris.

Pupils are involved in the preparations, making lolly jars and recyclable bags to sell, helping move equipment around the grounds, and caring for and training their animals with the aim of winning a top prize.

By leading and calling, or simply perching their animals, the students will be judged on whether they've taken good care of and developed a bond with their pets.

Kaitlyn Bingham, 11, is raising a pig for the first time.

"I really like it because you see, [it's just] like a little dog," Kaitlyn says, smiling, as her brown piggy Pumba follows her closely wherever she goes.

"It's really cool how everyone owns an animal and you see everyone come together."

Twelve-year-old Anthony Rawnsley is confident in his lamb Caramilk, who has grown a lot during its first three months.

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"It's very cool watching the evolution of animals from little babies to massive cute little ones," he says.

"It's fun when they play with you. It just releases all your sadness into happiness."

Cupcake the lamb received a pink collar and the sweetest hug from its five-year-old owner Sophia Harris.

"She's pretty. I love her. I like playing with it. I like running with it," the young girl says.

Despite pouring rain, last year's Ag Day raised enough to refurbish part of the 143-year-old school with new carpets, whiteboards and furniture.

Money collected this year will be used for beautification projects, Norris says.

"It's a real coming together of our community, so we'd like to welcome anyone else from other communities. Find that Brookby spirit and enjoy the day with us."

 - Stuff

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