Five cents doesn’t go far, but children at Williamstown North Primary School have used their common cents to raise nearly $500 for the Eastern Barred Bandicoot.

Year 4 pupils Lorenzo Maurici, Angus Sciberras and Ryan Dimovski initiated the fundraising, which involved all pupils.

Teacher Dianna Lane said the project was part of the children’s research into endangered species and working out ways to help preserve species.

“After visiting the Werribee Open Range Zoo and seeing the Eastern Barred Bandicoot, which the boys thought was very cute and special because it only lives in Victoria, they decided to raise awareness and fight extinction of the eastern bandicoot through the captive and reintroduction program at the zoo,” Ms Lane said.

“The boys worked together to raise funds and participate in the Common Cents Challenge. They spoke at the school assembly, inviting all grades to collect five-cent pieces for three weeks.”

Together, students raised $491.25 – 9825 five-cent pieces – and presented their total to a zoo representative last week.

The zoo’s Michelle Howard said it was great to have schools joining Zoos Victoria to fight the demise of Eastern Barred Bandicoots.