'A huge success': Mayfield students do everything from baking to Bison-naming to raise money for Fota

'A huge success': Mayfield students do everything from baking to Bison-naming to raise money for Fota

The school were delighted when ‘Maggie May’ was chosen as the name for Fota's Baby Bison, meaning Mayfield Community School will always have a link with Fota. 

MAYFIELD Community School recently raised over €600 for Fota Wildlife Park to help feed and care for the animals, and teacher Ciara Buckley says the experience left students inspired for further fundraising and conservation.

Twelve students from the school’s homeroom, who are teenagers with autism, wanted to do something to help after hearing how badly Fota was impacted by the pandemic.

The students and their teachers, Ciara Buckley, Edit Nagy, and Caitríona O’Donoghue set out to raise the funds by holding a bake sale, Christmas Comfort Day and ’Name the Baby Bison’ competition which “were a huge success”.

Got creative with a Covid-safe bake sale

Ms Buckley said that they had to get creative for the bake sale as students had to remain in their class bubbles due to Covid-19.

“We had to bake all the cakes in school. Our fantastic Home Ec teacher Catherine Sexton advised the students on what to bake, costs, and distribution and allowed the use of her Home Ec kitchen in the days leading up to the event.

“We decided on chocolate brownies, cookies, and banana bread. All cakes were packaged individually in brown bags which were donated by our very supportive neighbours, Supervalu.

“The day of the bake sale, the HR students organised a rota where two trolleys visited all classrooms during periods three and six.

She said that the cakes were a bigger hit than expected and were sold out before the period ended, which meant they had to bake double the amount during the lunch bake.

All classes took part in the Name the Baby Bison event, which saw each class nominate a name during their SPHE and religion classes.

“We were astounded by the creativity and wit of the suggestions but in the end, ‘Maggie May’ was chosen by our friends at Fota. 

"We loved this as having ‘May’ in the name means MCS will always have a link with Fota.”

A total of €610 was raised and Ms Buckley said that Róisín Fitzgerald of Fota “could not have been more enthusiastic and delighted with our efforts”.

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“We were meant to have a cheque presentation in school the first week back in January, but with the lockdown this was postponed. It all worked out so well, however, as Róisín invited us to Fota on May 12 to hold the presentation at the Bison pen and present the cheque to the director, Seán.

“We organised a trip to Fota with 10 students and three teachers and had the most wonderful day. Róisín and Seán could not have been more generous with their time and Seán answered so many questions.

“Róisín surprised the students with 10 adoption packs ready for you to take back to the school with us and an A4 award certificate to keep as a souvenir of their fundraising efforts,” she said.

She said that the experience has inspired students about fundraising and animal conservation and they already have ideas for next year.

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