MySchool funds are vital at Highbury in motivating boys to help our community across each of our Grade-specific outreach initiatives. Each Grade has a charity that they support throughout the year. Whatever funds a Grade raises for their charity, Highbury will match that amount, up to a maximum of R5000 per Grade per year, from our MySchool funds - enabling the boys to make a meaningful difference to each cause, each year.
Looking back at 2017, it is wonderful to see what a positive difference our Highbury boys have made in our community. A total of over R20,000 was raised by the boys themselves from Grade R to 7 for these eight worthy causes, and this was matched by R 21,400 from Highbury's MySchool funds - a total of over R 40,000 in just one year!
Highbury’s extensive 'Connect, Care, Collect, Celebrate' Grade Initiatives are carefully chosen to meet the following three outreach criteria:
- The opportunity to bring comfort, joy and hope to those within the greater Highway Area who are in real need.
- The responsibility that we have to provide outreach related learning opportunities for our Highbury boy.
- The impact that such community based actions might have on helping a watchful and critical neighbourhood to recognize that Highbury cares.
It is only through the combined effort of our teachers, parents and boys, supported by the MySchool funds, that we are able to positively impact the lives of so many.
Here are some highlights from 2017 of the difference we made together:
GRADE R: Animal Anti-Cruelty
Our boys visited the AACL, they collected towels and tinned dog-food. The Grade R boys raised money from their Baker-Baker sales each week, and this was matched by MySchool funds, enabling them to buy more blankets and towels to donate too. Later in the year, the Grade Rs collected animal food and used their funds to purchase an industrial tumble dryer for the AACL.
GRADE 1: Future Stars Care Centre
As this Care Centre operates in the afternoons, our teachers visited and shared photos and videos from their time there with the Grade 1s. The boys contributed to the weekly veggie collection for their soup kitchen and at the end of the year they used their Grade 1 Market Day funds, matched with MySchool funds to donate a much-needed kitchen work station and equipment.
GRADE 2: Fulton School for the Deaf
The Grade 2s connected with Fulton through a 'FP Play Exchange' and they were amazed at how good the Fulton play was. The boys used their Market Day funds, matched by MySchool funds, to purchase a data projector for Fulton School and uniforms. They also contributed to equipment and aspects of their Sensory Garden. Fulton’s school children and teachers came to Highbury to receive their gift and to celebrate by playing together on the jungle gyms and even learning some sign language.
GRADE 3: Flame Lily Park Retirement Village
The Grade 3s initiative was to love and care for the folk of the Flame Lily Frail Care. Using Market Day money, they were able to gift them with much needed bathroom dustbins and chairs for their outside area. The Grade 3 boys and their families, along with the MySchool contribution, were able to donate toiletries too and the residents were delighted to see some young, handsome, friendly faces.
GRADE 4: Robin Hood Foundation
Our Grade 4 boys learned to crochet and made a whopping 22 beautiful, colourful blankets for the Robin Hood Foundation's Mahala Market to bless the Embo community. They also spent an afternoon helping serve tea and distribute food/care packages to the 'gogos' and 'mkhulus' from the Embo valley.
GRADE 5: SPCA
Our Grade 5s visited the SPCA and took coin collection cans, which they endeavored to fill through the year. They then visited to return their cans and packed their school lunch, together with a few other special treats, in a bag and attached a card with a personal message of appreciation. They were able to give each of the 70 workers lunch for the day! The Grade 5s were also able to donate a small dog weighing scale through MySchool funds.
GRADE 6: Giba Gorge Nature Reserve
It is an incredible privilege having such a unique and beautiful 'green space' right on our doorstep. This conservancy of ancient scarp forest was introduced to our boys along with some education around its value and protection. On our second visit our Grade 6s had a wonderful day exploring the conservancy and helping with alien plant removal and litter removal.
GRADE 7: The Ark KZN Ministries and Inchanga Primary
In May, all of our Grade 7s went on an excursion to The Ark in Cliffdale. Each boy had brought R60 to purchase a plant for their mother in preparation for Mother's Day and they were able to choose something special from cacti to herbs to flowers, all in the nursery which is run by the men living at The Ark. Our Grade 7s also took part in Highbury's first visits to Inchanga Primary, our new twin school, and we are excited to see how this relationship will develop in the future.
MySchool: A cost-less way for parents to contribute
One of Highbury's core values is responsible citizenship within our community. Being able to provide our boys with experiences through which meaningful learning can take place as they reach out to others less fortunate than themselves, is a vital part of their Highbury education.
We appeal to all Highbury parents to get a MySchool card, to make Highbury the beneficiary of their MySchool card, and to encourage their families to do the same. It is so motivating for our boys to see the difference that they can make in the lives of others through the use of these funds. We have such exciting plans for 2018 outreach activities, such as Weavers' Nest who will be supporting a pre-school in the Valley Trust area and organizing facilitators to go into the community to teach Early Childhood Development skills. In Senior Primary there are a number of new initiatives being planned including greater connection between our Grade 7s and our twinning school, Inchanga Primary. Thank you for your support over 2018 to make these dreams a reality!
Please note that while up to 50% of MySchool funds are allocated to Outreach, the remaining funds are also vital to Highbury as they are combined with all fundraising money from the Parents' Association to be spent on exciting projects at Highbury in the future.
For more information on how to sign up for a MySchool card or how to change your beneficiary of your MySchool card, you can look online at www.myschool.co.za or contact Shireen Swart of Highbury's Parents' Association who leads the MySchool portfolio on email@example.com