Pupils from the American International School raised more than $10,000 to help a Hong Kong orphanage - after their teacher adopted a baby boy from it. The six- and seven-year-olds were so touched by the plight of the less-privileged children, they donated shoes, made and sold a cookbook and held an auction to aid the Portland Street creche and orphanage in Mongkok which looks after 63 children, about 20 per cent of them awaiting adoption. This week the pupils presented 200 children's books, shelving and cushions for a reading area. Their teacher, 43-year-old single mother Lainey Crebo, from Discovery Bay, started the ball rolling when she took her newly adopted 19-month-old son Levi to class with her. 'The kids I teach come from comfortable backgrounds and I thought it was important for them to learn about less privileged children. They noticed that Levi was Chinese whereas I wasn't and that gave me the opportunity to talk about non-traditional families,' she said. Ms Crebo developed the families theme as part of the curriculum with the help of colleague Leslie Holtby. The outcome was so successful she has written it up as part of her master's degree in applied linguistics at the University of Hong Kong. Forty Grade One pupils from the Kowloon Tong school toured the creche and orphanage - run by the Hong Kong Society for the Protection of Children - before deciding to set themselves the project of helping. Each donated a pair of shoes and united with another Grade One class to put together a cookbook, which sold 150 copies. An auction added to the proceeds. 'My method is interactive and I wanted the children to take a cross-curricula approach,' Ms Crebo said. 'The cookbook involved them going to the market to choose ingredients for their recipes. Adding up the money raised involved maths and they even drew maps of how to get to the creche. 'Although I was a catalyst the project was very much their own,' she said, adding that her pupils now had a much broader view of what a family meant. 'I asked them if they thought Levi and I were a family as there were just the two of us and they replied, 'Of course you are - because you love each other'. I was nearly in tears when they said that,' she said.