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All the fun of the fair

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Fair go for Natalie Schoonenberg. Photograph: Claire Byrne/Phnom Penh Post

It’s safe to say the kids at the International School of Siem Reap are excited about their forthcoming summer fair this Sunday, which promises to be a full-on family fête packed with fun, games and good food.

“A group of parents and teachers wanted to organise a fun day for children and parents and we wanted to invite everyone in the Siem Reap community to visit our school and have some fun with our students,” explains Year 1 teacher and fair organiser, Natalie Schoonenberg.

The fair will have an international flavour. Stalls are organised by parents and pupils while food will be provided by vendors and business owner’s among the school’s parents. There will also be a cake stand with sweet treats from around the world, a bar selling icy-cold bevvies and a book stall selling second hand reads.

“It’s all driven by the parents in the lower years and the students in the upper years. They’re organising everything from collecting materials that we need,  to manning the stall on the day, operating the stall on the day, and the donation of the materials and prizes.”

There will also be lots activities to keep the wee ones entertained with face painting, crazy hairspray, a lucky stick game, a knock ‘em down game, a craft corner and giant colour by numbers mural.
Perhaps best of all, a fun and games zone where kids can chuck a wet sponge at the teacher or adult of their choosing.

For budding party animals a disco area will be set up for kids to rock out to the school band while Temple Town’s favourite five-some Cambojam will top the bill.

Natalie says it’s important for the children to increase relationships with other people who don’t go to their school.

“It’s a reminder of where they are living and that there are people in different situations living close by,” Natalie says, adding it was because of this that the school and parents decided to keep costs low and use the funds raised to help Education for Kantoo Village, a project of the Angkor Hospital for Children’s Capacity Building and Health Education Program.

“All funds raised will be used to buy resources for a school in Kantoo Village. Children in this village need bicycles to travel to school in a nearby village. We are hoping to raise enough money to buy several bikes to help these children.”

Schoonenberg says the idea of helping other children get to school is one that the pupils at ISSR can identify with, rather than simply handing over money to a good cause.

The ISSR Summer Fete: June 3,  from 11am-3pm. Admission is free as are some activities, while others will have a nominal fee.

To contact the reporter on this story: Claire Byrne at newsroom@phnompenhpost.com

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