Auckland students and seniors enjoy collaborating on community project

They say it takes a village to raise a child and one Auckland High school is taking that literally, utilising the skills of senior citizens next door to help them out with a community project.

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It turns out both generations are learning more than they bargained for. Source: Seven Sharp

Albany Senior High School has paired up with the lifestyle village next door to do a community project making birdboxes.

The birdbox project has been a labour of love - lasting through lockdowns and many stages of development.

Students Tirth Patel and Xavier Ridge came up with the idea of making planter boxes for the village but residents at the village came back with the idea of birdboxes.

“We saw an incredible opportunity for a powerful partnership that saw our young people learning from those men at the Settlers Lifestyle Village,” said Albany Senior High School principal Claire Amos.

Gordon Morris was a construction manager for Mainzeal in his day - now he finds himself mentoring seven high school students in the village workshop.

“Teaching is something of an old-fashioned way of you watch me - you don’t learn that way - but if you give them things to do you, then can correct them as you go along,” Morris said.

Another resident, Ian Langley, is keen to pass on the skills he developed as a marine engineer.

The result of the project has seen 12 birdboxes made for the community and a real sense of accomplishment all round.

“It was quite fun working with them and working with people other than our teachers and working outside of school and making an impact on the community,” Patel said.

“We would like to see them again next year, even if they’re a different bunch of people,” Morris said.