Mentone Girls' Grammar Junior Enterprise Program, as part of the School's Enterprise Academy, presented hundreds of pencils, stationery and books to Cindy Rochenstein from The Pencils Community, along with a financial donation of $241.08 to Donna Stolzenberg from The School Project this week.
Aiming to develop student's entrepreneurial skills, attitudes and behaviours, the Junior Enterprise Program consists of 28 students from Years 2 – 5 split into two groups, Business and Social Enterprise.
The Junior Enterprise Social Enterprise Team collected more than 500 pieces of stationary and other items for The Pencils Community, a not-for-profit charity that gathers used and discarded pencils, pens, crayons and other stationery items, re-bundles them and donates them to children in need within Australia and around the globe.
The Project Manager for the Social Enterprise team, Year 5 student Abigail Brown, said their primary goal was to receive as many boxes of donations of pencils and stationery as they could and have them all tested, sharpened and sorted for Cindy.
“We worked through our lunchtimes to test every single item that had been donated. Most of our donations were in good working order, but some were ready for the bin! Personally, I’ve been so inspired by Cindy’s work with The Pencils Community. In the holidays, I also worked with her at their headquarters to help sort pencils and stationery.
“One of the biggest challenges for our team was sorting through each week’s new donations quickly but thoroughly. It is important that we worked together in groups and helped each other, even when there was a mountain of new donations,” said Abigail.
In 2016, Junior Enterprise members all had specialist roles for all of their projects, but in 2017, Abigail said they worked collaboratively as a group.
“In past projects, we each had our own special roles, but this time, it was a bit different. We all had to work together as one big team to achieve the same goal. It actually made us all feel really connected as a group and we got to know each other a bit better as we sat together sharpening pencils and testing pens and textas.
“The end result of our work kept us really motivated. We wanted to achieve a goal and push through the tough moments. We learned a lot about perseverance because this project wasn’t always sunshine and daisies but we knew it was going to be worth it.”
The Junior Enterprise Business Team spent the last six months raising money through fundraising initiatives for The School Project, which helps displaced children through domestic violence with all the resources and support they need to complete their schooling and homework.
The Project Manager for the Business team, Year 5 student Makayla Clancy, said their biggest inspiration was meeting The School Project Founder, Donna Stolzenberg.
“Donna’s first visit to the school in Term 2 inspired us all to help make a difference to the lives of those in need. We loved hearing about the important role she played in establishing The School Project and how the organisation has developed to become the amazing source of hope it is to so many today.
“We recognise that here at Mentone Girls’ Grammar School we are so fortunate to live blessed lives. We are provided with all the food, shelter, clothing and love we need to lead rich and happy lives. We also recognise that not everyone is as fortunate as we are, so we all have a social responsibility to help those in need. The School Project gave us the perfect way in which to do this,” said Makayla.
Principal Fran Reddan was on hand at the presentation saying how overwhelmingly proud she was to see a real world example of the Enterprise Academy in action.
“Thank you to all our students and the Heads of Junior Enterprise, Camilla Gaff and Kylie Federici, on their phenomenal hard work, passion and dedication in raising funds and donations to charities close to their hearts.”