You are currently viewing Bulls for schools: Hikutaia’s funding bid for new van 
Hikutaia School students Jayden Good, left, with Buddy, and Denvor Kisling, with Hot Chocka.

Bulls for schools: Hikutaia’s funding bid for new van 

Hikutaia School’s annual bull calf fundraiser is on once again.

The school has put out a call to local farmers, asking them to donate a bull calf to be auctioned off at this year’s sales. 

Last year, $6000 was raised. This year, the school is hoping for a similar amount, which along with last year’s money will allow the school to purchase a van. 

Principal Wayne Whitney said the van would be invaluable for the school, enabling students to participate in more activities away from school grounds. 

“We’re forever asking for parents to help support us with transport to help get our kids to these locations that we need to,” he said. 

“Trying to get our whole class to an event, you’d need probably 10 parents to help out, and parents work as well.”

Wayne said the calf fundraiser was a natural choice for the rural school, following the removal of its slinks run two years prior over health and safety concerns. Farming is a big part of life for much of the school’s community, and he said it was important to bring that real-world experience into the school and make it accessible for the students. 

“Our main study focus this term is looking at farming because we’ve got our 80th calf club day coming up,” Wayne said. 

“I’m a city boy, so when I walked in and saw these calves and lambs and goats at school for the first time I was like, ‘wow, this is pretty cool’.”

As part of the school’s farming study, children had been taken to a local farm to try their hand at milking, and producing butter, cream, buttermilk, and cheese. 

“[For] a lot of these kids, milk comes from the supermarket. But last week they were like ‘hmmm, milk comes from the cow.’ That’s opening up some of our city slicker kids’ minds,” Wayne said. 

The school was grateful to the support it had received from the close-knit community in recent years, he said, and he was hopeful farmers would continue to assist. 

“We had a celebration breakfast for all the farmers last year … they all got together so we could say thank you and what the money was going towards,” he said. 

“It all helps, it all accumulates. Without that support it’s hard, it’s tough.”

Wayne was excited about the possibilities the new van would offer the school, especially now the national curriculum was more focused on local areas. 

“What I’m looking forward to is exploring our local area a bit more … it will be nothing to chuck a bunch of kids in a van and scoot off up the road,” Wayne said. 

“I’m all about real life learning, authentic.  

“We want to get our kids hands-on and into seeing things. It’s easy to sit in a classroom and Google it, but it’s way easier to go there and do it.”

DETAILS: For more information about the bull calf fundraiser, contact Hayden Brown, Ph 027 944 3107 or Royce King, Ph 021 263 2060.

By ALICE PARMINTER, Public Interest Journalism funded by NZ on Air