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Kite symbol proves inspiring

Two hundred pounds is a lot of loose change to carry up a mountain, says seven-year-old Ellie Haines, who has given the practicalities of this problem considerable thought. "They'll probably need to put it in something and push it," she says.

Ellie is standing in the playground of Broom Barns primary in Stevenage, where Don Dodkin, the head, has painted a large kite shape on the ground. Fifteen metres of snaking tail has been chalked on to the kite, and pupils are lining this with loose change. In turn, the various classes file out and add coins, some of the younger children obviously weighed down by bags of one and two-penny pieces. Several bags split under the weight, scattering coins across the ground. A group of girls line their money up in straight line, until their teacher points out that the playground is not big enough to hold the length of tail this will create.

The teachers at Broom Barns chose to raise money for the TES-UNICEF appeal, because they recognised the value of learning about the lives of Afghan children. "I think it's really important that we raise children's awareness of what children in other continents don't have. We are not a rich area but we don't have deprivation," said Shelagh Tooley, the deputy head.

The idea for the kite came from the appeal logo. "There's something about a kite that's enthralling," said Mr Dodkin. "In assembly, you always try to bring in something concrete that children can feel, touch and see.

"Kites fly freely in the air, and that's what people in Afghanistan want: to live freely," says Lucy Barnes, 11. "It makes people happy, and the Taliban don't like that - they're trying to stop people from smiling and being happy."

The kite tail ends up almost twice the length of the original chalk line. It adds up to a total of pound;286.46. Having carried pound;1.50 in loose change from home, Ellie Haines is worried how it will be transported across mountainous terrain. "It will be very heavy to take there," she says. "But it's good giving it to children and not just keeping it here."

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