Real deal thrills students

Real deal thrills students

Island School team comes up with a winning promotion for charity project

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Claudia Lo Wai-yu (above left) and Tommy San Chun-yin used a mobile phone application to promote a charity trek
Claudia Lo Wai-yu (above left) and Tommy San Chun-yin used a mobile phone application to promote a charity trek
Photo: Dickson Lee
When Island School student Claudia Lo Wai-yu entered a competition to create a marketing plan for a charity organisation, she knew she was in for a one-of-a-kind experience.

'It's not just a competition - there's a chance our ideas will be used. That's why I wanted to give it my best,' says the 15-year-old.

The competition, 'Learning Without Frontiers', was jointly organised by Island School and Sha Tin College, and open to all English Schools Foundation students.

The students had to use their IT skills to come up with a promotion for the Rainbow Trek. The Rainbow Trek is a fund-raiser for the Rainbow Project, a charity which helps autistic children, and which Island School has supported for a number of years.

'The main purpose of the trek is one of challenge,' says Island School biology teacher Pak Chan, who has been organising the Rainbow Trek with a group of students for five years. 'To walk 50 [kilometres] up and down the hills of Hong Kong from the Peak to Big Wave Bay is an experience unknown to most young people today.'

Obviously, another important reason for the trek is to raise money for the charity.

A total of 56 students from schools around the territory took part in the 'Learning Without Frontiers' competition. Claudia and her team members, fellow Year 11 students Tommy San Chun-yin and Lauren Engel, were the ultimate winners.

'Our goal is to promote the event to as many people as possible so that more funding can be raised for the Rainbow Project. The quickest way is to spread the message using your phone,' says Tommy. 'We came up with a mobile application with which you can access and send off news and photos of the trek, and donate via your mobile phone. This is even more convenient than using a computer.'

The team designed an eye-catching logo for the Rainbow Trek and suggested putting it on merchandise such as coffee mugs and T-shirts.

They also suggested setting up a Facebook page, which could provide instant news updates and photos of the trek, and a forum so trekkers could connect with each other and discuss things.

'We also made use of free online advertising, such as the Google advertising platform, so that people can search for the organisation and its products easily,' Tommy adds.

Claudia says: 'The competition has helped to raise our own awareness of their charity work. I think it's great to help people. This is more than just a competition.'

IT teacher Kevin Lester is delighted with what his students have produced. 'They are working for real people and they know somebody will use their ideas. This gives learning a purpose,' says Lester, who is keen to hold the contest every year and bring in other charity groups.

Chan says: 'What the students achieved was not just coming up with an end-product, but a process that can be adapted to meet the needs of advertising and publicity. I intend to get them to work with the publicity team of the Rainbow Trek Committee to come up with a package that can be used for fund-raising.'

To learn about the Rainbow Project, go to www.rainbowproject.org

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