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“And the prize for the best use of social media and punching well above its weight goes to,”….drum roll….”Koputoroa Primary School”.

This 170 pupil country school, seven kilometres north of Levin on the Kapiti Coast deserves heaps of praise, alongside its key organiser Suzie Valentine, for a fundraising effort that literally wins the hearts and minds and wallets of people all over New Zealand.


By organising a ‘send your Teddy Bear on holiday’ event, where (obviously much-loved) bears are sent to the school and photographed enjoying a holiday.

Promoted through social media such as Facebook, each bear has its own special passport. This year’s theme is to enjoy classic and vintage cars (and naturally have their photo taken in them), as several of the bears have been around for more than half a century.

As both a way of connecting with a wider audience, and demonstrating that distance is no longer an inhibitor in a highly connected world, the novelty and fund-raising concept is truly innovative.

Over 100 Teddy Bears are going on this year’s holiday, and the approximately $3000 raised will go to IT equipment for students.

A clever, innovative, first-mover idea that ticks so many of the right boxes….surely there’s a Hollywood movie angle there!

Little school thinks bearly big

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