Raumati South School students have proven that kids absolutely can for KidsCan, raising $16,257 for the charity.
Teaching their students about the value of empathy and the importance of reaching out to others in need, the school put their words into action by raising money for KidsCan, a charity existing to meet the physical and nutritional needs of Kiwi kids.
"Our whole school has been focusing on the value of empathy and the importance of reaching out to others in need as responsible, kind and caring citizens," senior teacher Hillary Houston said.
"We have been learning that we can make a difference so we have taken the opportunity to show our students they can make a difference by being involved and participating in events with the money raised helping New Zealand children in need.
"We feel this is an appropriate organisation for our students to reach out to — other Kiwi kids in need."
The topic culminated with Raumati South School holding a fun run last week with whanau and staff joining the students in the run and Jump Jam sessions throughout the day.
Throughout the event the atmosphere was buzzing with music blasting and students dressed up in teams.
The seniors ran for an hour followed by a Jump Jam session and the juniors ran for half an hour concluding with Jump Jam.
"We were fortunate to have spot prizes gifted from The Kapiti Aquatic Centre, Event Cinemas and The Warehouse," Hillary said.
The top fundraiser was Year 6 student Lachlan Diggins who raised an astounding $1098.
"I learnt that KidsCan is an organisation that provided the basics for Kiwi kids in need," he said.
"We did relay laps around a field for an hour and after that we had a Jump Jam session.
"We were all in teams and I went as Pikachu. I wanted to raise money for them because they will be able to help kids get raincoats, food and shoes to make sure they wouldn't have any barriers to get to school."
Another top fundraiser who raised $842, Year 4 student Angus Mallalieu said, "I have learnt that KidsCan is helping children in need and providing them jumpers, bathroom supplies and shoes.
"I want to raise money for KidsCan because I think it is a great charity for people in need.
"My family has been telling lots of people about KidsCan.
"We set up a fundraising page and corresponded with people and thanked them for their donations."
Following a term of teaching around empathy teacher Greg Whithair said the learning is paying off in the classroom with a noticeable difference in the students.
"It has been good to have designated time throughout the school term to teach the concept of what empathy is and what it looks and feels like.
"Students are more aware of others and when someone needs support, they are more willing to ask if someone is down and if they are down, what they can do to help."
Recent statistics show 1 in 4 New Zealand children live in financial hardship, approximately 290,000 children.
KidsCan exists to meet the physical and nutritional needs of Kiwi kids.
Their mission is to provide food, clothing and basic healthcare in schools to enable disadvantaged children to be more engaged in their education and reach their full potential.