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All set for a polar blast

Every pupil from Masterton Primary School [MPS] now has a warm, rainproof jacket in their wardrobe, thanks to a donation by national charity KidsCan.

The children are now set for what winter may throw at them, after a KidsCan representative arrived at the school on June 2 and handed out 250 navy jackets – fleece-lined, waterproof and with a detachable hood.

MPS principal Gene Bartlett said he enjoyed telling parents the jackets were on the way to MPS.

“It was a fantastic surprise for our families. One family has three boys, with another child on the way, so the [winter jacket] cost factor has been removed for them.

“It breaks down barriers for many.”

Jacket sizes were arranged in advance for the children and, when they arrived, the pupils reacted with “great excitement”, Bartlett said.

“The children think the jackets are very stylish and were happily wearing them through the school gates the following week.”

KidsCan supports 897 schools and 206 early childhood centres nationwide – and now partners with seven schools in Wairarapa. MPS was one of 22 schools to join the KidsCan programme this term.

“A warm jacket has become a luxury for some children as families grapple with the rising cost of living,” KidsCan chairperson Julie Chapman said.

“We know this winter will be a particularly tough one for many.”

This year, 74,000 children nationwide would get a new jacket from KidsCan. “They can arrive at school warm, dry, and able to focus on learning,” Chapman said.

“However, we can’t keep up with demand. More than 100 schools are still waiting for help, and we desperately need donations to help ensure children don’t go hungry and cold this winter.”

As part of the KidsCan programme, MPS can now order food, shoes, and health products as needed.

The school already runs a breakfast club, which includes “Baked Bean Tuesday”.

Bartlett thanked ASB for supporting the KidsCan programme at MPS and for providing every pupil with a new drink bottle.

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