Students at a small school in the central west of NSW are hoping to dance up a storm to break the drought.
And now the year 5/6 class at St John's Parish Primary School, Trangie is urging schools across Australia to join them in a simultaneous rain dance at 1pm on December 13.
The school of 50 students lies in the heart of one of the most drought-ravaged areas of the state and its farming families are doing it tough.
For the past 18 months, students had been tossing around ideas for fundraisers; all relied on digging into the pockets of a community already struggling, according to teacher Emma Wilson.
"They were obviously really passionate so I encouraged them to model a UN national crisis committee," the enthusiastic teacher said.
Ms Wilson set her young charges to work studying My Country by Dorothea Mackellar, Drought by Jackie French and Big Rain Coming by Katrina Germein, which explores the concept of rain dances in indigenous cultures.
This opened the door to the class listening to the Golden Guitar-nominated song Raindance by Sara Storer, which tells the story of a little girl who is so worried about her mum and dad that she decides to run away and fix things by performing her own rain dance.
"But then we thought, 'This drought is bigger than us so let's invite schools across Australia to join our rain dance'," she says.
"The morning after we created our #bustthedust event on Facebook we had 20,000 likes and shares."
With three weeks still to go, the event has attracted the interest of more than 500 schools spanning from NSW and the ACT to Queensland and the Northern Territory, according to a delighted Ms Wilson.
They are asked to film their own dances and post videos to the Bust The Dust Raindance event page on Facebook.
Meanwhile Trangie students wrote to Storer to ask her permission to sing up a storm with her special song.
The acclaimed songstress, nominated for seven Golden Guitars at the 2020 Tamworth Country Music Festival awards, says she is 100 per cent behind their efforts.
"I told them to go for it," she told The Border Mail.
Now these big-hearted kids are set to dust off their boots and dance 'til it rains.
"I think this is more about the fact that a small country school suffering the effects of drought can make a noise in such a positive way," Ms Wilson says.
JOIN THE RAIN DANCE
Schools can join this group of country kids trying to stop the drought:
- On December 13 at 1pm, students, teachers, their families and friends are encouraged to take a break from the classroom, bust a move and help St John's Parish Primary School at Trangie #bustthedust
- From a casual clothes or Dress Like a Farmer day to an end-of-term barbecue, fete or fundraiser, schools can jump on board any way they choose but the aim is to dance up a drought-ending storm.
- Then simply upload a video of your school dancing to the #bustthedust event page on Facebook - it can be any song, any dance moves and any duration you like!
- For more information visit the Bust The Dust Raindance event on Facebook or contact Emma Wilson at St John's primary, Trangie.