PJ day for a good cause

Lilydale Primary School students got to wear their pyjamas to school on Tuesday 22 June. Picture: SUPPLIED.

By Mikayla van Loon

Recent storms and Covid-19 lockdowns have meant primary school students have had yet another disturbed year of learning.

Lilydale Primary School’s junior school council, along with the help of their teacher Maria Orlando, organised a pyjama day to help raise funds for disaster relief organisation GIVIT, as well as spread some joy among the school.

On Tuesday 22 June almost everyone in the school came dressed in their comfy clothes but Ms Orlando said Oodies and pyjamas were the choice of the day.

Ms Orlando said coming to school dressed in pyjamas was a way to acknowledge the comforts normally provided by heating and electricity.

“The wearing of the pyjamas was symbolic of the fact that people were without power and heat for so many days and the fact that we have that luxury, that we don’t even think twice about the fact that we’re normally warm and cosy and that we have heat and electricity to provide those comforts for us,” she said.

“So we were coming to school dressed like that to appreciate those luxuries and to raise money for those who, under the circumstances, didn’t have them.”

With the storms, Ms Orlando said many students and teachers were affected and have been until recently, by power outages and flooding.

“It touched so many people in our own school, I didn’t have power for days and I’m in Lilydale and I think traditionally we’re so used to rural communities being without power for longer periods of time in those situations,” she said.

“Coming to school on that morning after the storm, people described it as apocalyptic, there were just trees everywhere, wires on the ground, right outside the school there was a massive tree that fell and completely blocked the road.

“Because we were so central to it all and we all experienced it to some degree, we sort of felt like for those who didn’t have it rectified or who were in worse situations and we really wanted to help out as soon as possible.”

Not only was the pyjama day about raising money and doing something for the community, it was about providing students with a day of fun after what had been a trying few weeks.

“Our students and staff were already doing remote learning and dealing with the challenges that it brings. Then we were finally able to return to onsite learning and some of our families were faced with these new environmental challenges. We just wanted to give the students something to look forward to, to build some excitement in our school and provide some hope for our community,” Ms Orlando said.

“[The school wanted to] lift spirits all around, lift spirits for the ones here at school and for the people in the community that need the extra support.”

For just one day, students were able to enjoy the comforts of their pyjamas and forget about storm damage, power outages and lockdowns.

With 215 children at Lilydale Primary School and just a gold coin donation needed, the school was able to raise $267.70, meaning most children participated in the pyjama day.