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‘REMARKABLE TIME’ inspires remarkable project

5 April 2017


Marsden School’s ‘REMARKABLE TIME’ inspires remarkable project

Samuel Marsden Collegiate School Year 9 student Sakira Knights has taken her school’s ‘Remarkable Time’ to heart. Sakira’s Grandmother was recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and Sakira wants to find a cure. She has instigated the ‘Lightbulb Trade Relay’ (LTR) to raise funds to help achieve this goal.

Sakira reached her initial goal of $1,000 in less than a week and is now aiming for the stars. Her goal is to raise significant funds by the end of October to help two of Australasia’s research centres to find a cure for Parkinson’s. She has chosen to donate to the Neurological Foundation Douglas Human Brain Bank and Shake It Up Australia Foundation (in partnership with The Michael J. Fox Foundation). Using a bartering system (inspired by Kyle McDonald’s ‘One red paper clip for a house’) Sakira has decided to see how far a lightbulb can take her. “The lightbulb is the symbol of an idea” says Sakira “and the start of my project”. So far she has gone from the lightbulb to her most recent trades of a private 6-person helicopter charter over the Remarkables ($990), traded for a Peregrine Wine Voucher ($1,200), traded for accommodation at the Crowne Plaza Auckland ($2,150). “We were inspired by Sakira’s idea of the Lightbulb Trade Relay and have loved being a part of her project”, said IHG’s Marketing Manager Rachel Peacock “We can’t wait to see how far she goes”. The final trade will be auctioned during Parkinson’s Awareness week in November.

Sakira’s younger sister Mahalee (Year 6) is contributing too. She’s going to see how big she can grow a lightbulb over the time of the project. “She has emptied out her moneybox and has created this awesome lightbulb with her spare change”, says Sakira. The sisters have called it the “WATT’s Glowing” project, which encourages others to create their own lightbulbs and donate the proceeds via the LTR.

‘Remarkable Time’ at Samuel Marsden Collegiate School is a phrase borrowed from high-flying international entrepreneur and Marsden Old Girl Claudia Batten, who has been generous in sharing her thinking about how Marsden School best prepares their students for a rapidly changing and unpredictable world. It also draws on the thinking of Yong Zhao, Foundation Distinguished Professor in the School of Education at the University of Kansas. He asks “At a time when most of the careers for our children are yet to be invented, how could we prepare them?” Zhao sees the solution through the cultivation of creative and entrepreneurial talents, meaning not only business but social entrepreneurship.

“Our Year 9 girls are working on a long term project of their own choosing. Through ‘Remarkable Time’, we aim to foster the talents of our students and give them the opportunity to explore important ideas and to experiment without the constraints of school-based subjects.

Using class and homework time, students have three terms to develop a personal idea into something real and tangible”, says Marsden School’s Academic Director Margaret Adeane. “Remarkable Time seeks to foster a number of skills which have been identified as highly relevant in today’s learning environment: thinking skills, creativity, problem-solving, and entrepreneurship. For our students, their ability to be adaptable, creative – to fail, to try again and to problem solve will be crucial to their success”.

“Sakira’s project is a wonderful example of the core value of ‘Giving’ at Marsden School too”, says Marsden School Principal Jenny Williams. “I am very proud of our girls who embrace this virtue and then take it out into the world. We are excited by the possibilities of Sakira’s project and the hard work she is putting in to make it happen”.

“I will continue to trade throughout New Zealand and hopefully Australia until late October, so invite people to check out the Facebook page or email and jump on board!” says Sakira. She encourages individuals, families and businesses to help find relay runners for her LTR project and/or collect spare coins to ‘make’ a lightbulb and then donate the money through her initiative. “Hopefully by all working together we can make a difference in the world and help find a cure for Parkinson’s Disease”, says the remarkable teen.

Samuel Marsden Collegiate School has been providing quality independent education for more than 135 years. Today it has two campuses, in Karori and Whitby. The Marsden School Karori campus provides education for girls from Years 1 – 13 and has a co-ed Preschool. Marsden School’s vision is to lay the foundation for lives of meaning, accomplishment and genuine happiness. Marsden School fosters excellence, creativity, resilience and giving, in a nurturing and positive environment. END

Thirteen-year-old Samuel Marsden Collegiate School student Sakira Knights with “Lex” the lightbulb.

Sakira is raising funds to find a cure for Parkinson’s Disease through her project the “Lightbulb Trade Relay” - The Neurological Foundation Douglas Human Brain Bank, based in Auckland, and Shake It Up Australia Foundation, based in Silverwater New South Wales look forward to receiving her donations later this year.

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