MORNINGS start with a hot drink delivered to the classroom at St Simon Peter Catholic Primary School in Ocean Reef.
Year 6 student Rory Jensen and Year 5 students Liam Coyne, Morgan Lewis and Gio DeAbreu make up the Ignite group, arriving at school at 7.45am every morning to set up, make coffees, teas or hot chocolates, deliver them and clean up.
Ignite coordinator Mary Thomas said the group started to “help the boys become more engaged at school, to feel they belong and to have a safe place to go when needed”.
She said an uncle of one of the students was a barista and he trained Rory, who has taken on the role of head barista and has trained the other students.
“The staff at our school have been wonderful in supporting this venture,” she said.
“We are really proud of the effort and enthusiasm of the boys.”
The drinks cost $2 each, which is raising money for Social Impakt to help supply water filtration systems for villagers in Bali.
“My Ignite colleague Julie Sontay and I went to Bali last holidays and became aware that some of the remote villages do not have access to fresh, clean water,” Ms Thomas said.
“Indonesian is also taught at our school and Julie and I thought it would be a great link.
“We talked with the Ignite boys about the lack of fresh water and showed them some YouTube clips from the Social Impakt site.
“The Ignite group had been given a small, single coffee machine, which we had always intended to use but finally we had a reason and the boys leapt at the chance to learn to make coffee, sell it to the staff and raise money for a worthy cause.”
She said each water filter for a family cost $25 and $50 for schools.
“After costs, the boys have raised $150 in five weeks using a machine that only makes one coffee at a time,” Ms Thomas said.
“They have chosen to donate the money for filters for two families and two schools and have another $133 in a kitty for next year.”
Ms Thomas said the initiative had “helped the boys in many ways”.
“They have proven to themselves that they can be organised,” she said.
“They are learning empathy and the fundraising has engaged them with maths, social skills, organisation and hygiene.
“They have also been able to interact with staff in a more informal manner and the staff have seen the boys in a special light, commenting on the boys’ manners, friendliness and great tasting coffee.
“The boys have grown in confidence and run the whole coffee making by themselves.”
She said the school hoped to continue raising money for water filters next year.
“We would love a bigger coffee machine to help us as we would like to expand the venture to sell coffee to the parents or at various events,” she said.