Rotorua Primary School pupils Ivy Grant-Cairns (left) and Wairaanei Whata, both aged 5, with their warm knits. Photo/Andrew Warner
Donations of cozy and colorful knitted winter accessories have brought ‘big, big smiles’ to the faces of many children in Rotorua this week.
The Rotorua branch of Knitting for Cool Kids delivered packs with a hat, scarf, slippers and gloves to 19th Decile 1-3 schools in Rotorua, with each new entrant aged 5 receiving a pack.
Coordinator Glennys Kereopa said this week they had delivered around 585 kits to 19 schools.
She says seeing the reaction of children when their bags are delivered is absolutely magical.
“I was at Rotorua Primary this morning [Tuesday]. They brought in all the new entrants and they could choose whatever colors they wanted.
“There were hats and scarves, kids saying ‘look at mine’. It was the most wonderful atmosphere and they had big, big smiles.”
She says some children in the community don’t often get new clothes that haven’t been passed down because they come from families that don’t have extra money to buy new items.
Glennys says the Cool Kids Rotorua group knits all year round and delivers the packs at the start of the second school term each year.
“We had great reviews from the schools.”
A few reviews included a teacher from Kea St Special School saying their young pupils love receiving the warm, colorful knit, and a parent from Selwyn School saying a big thank you and that their son was so excited to show them when he came to school.
She says the group always welcomes new knitters and is also grateful for all the yarn donations and people who are happy to give time each year to help deliver the packs.
Rotorua Primary School headmaster Fred Whata said the group visited their school on Tuesday morning, where they provided around 45 new school or 5-year-olds with hats, mittens, scarves and small slippers.
He says this is the third year that the Rotorua branch has donated these items to the school.
“We’re so grateful. The kids were absolutely amazed, excited and thrilled to put on all their new band-made clothes. I think their parents will be so grateful too.
“I have nothing but admiration and gratitude for the team who have worked tirelessly to provide excellent warm clothing for the winter months ahead.
“At a time when whānau face many challenges, to see a gift like this is absolutely fantastic.”
He says the school will return a koha and yarn to the group to help them continue to master the art of knitting and help others.
• Those interested in joining or helping the group can get in touch via the Knitting for Cool Kids Rotorua Facebook page.
Schools Knitting for Cool Kids Rotorua delivers this year
TKKM or Rotoiti
TKKM or Te Koutu
TKKM or Whakamarino
Kea Street Special School
TKKM or Huruterangi
TKKM or Raumata
TKKM or Whakawarewa