An inter-school exchange of kindness and fun has restored the faith of the Somerton Public School community in a tough time, the principal has said.
The students are back at school after The Entrance Public School (TEPS) showered them with support, gifts and even a coastal adventure last week.
Kylie Lacey said the new relationship, which had “taken the whole community aback a bit” for its generosity, was “just amazing”.
“It’s just this realisation; you remember there are really, really good people out there that really do care and are very willing to give,” Ms Lacey said.
“It kind of restores your faith a bit, after we were broken into, too … We’re now starting to talk to the kids about what we can do to give back, to pay it forward.”
It came amid the drought continuing to take its toll on the region, and the recent robbery in which thieves took thousands of dollars of equipment and resources – and the school’s pet bearded dragon Rocco.
It all started with a TEPS Year 5 girl’s idea, combined with a couple of staffers’ links to Somerton through family and work history, Ms Lacey said.
And it all culminated with the Somerton students hosting a brief visit from TEPS students and staff, then going back with them for a couple of days on the Central Coast.
They enjoyed a stay at Camp Toukley, went to the beach, fed pelicans, ate fish and chips by the water, went to the circus and more – all provided free.
They came home with piles of gifts from Central Coast Council, and from the school community – including a new pet lizard, Wattle.
“Those kids were so kind to our kids, and so giving and wanting to help,” Ms Lacey said.
“They were beautiful; their whole community is just amazing … they could not do enough for us.
“I’ve never experienced anything like this before between two schools; not to this extent.”