Home­work cen­tre build­ing ed­u­ca­tional bridges

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By ROSE CAW­LEY

Read­ing a sim­ple sen­tence just like this one can be a bit of a strug­gle for some young Kiwi stu­dents.

The newly opened Ethiokiwi Home­work Cen­tre at Wes­ley In­ter­me­di­ate is do­ing its bit to bridge that ed­u­ca­tional gap and now you can help as well.

The cen­tre is the brain­child of the Ethiopian Sports & Cul­tural Club NZ, a not-for-profit com­mu­nity or­gan­i­sa­tion that pro­vides ac­tiv­i­ties and sup­port ser­vices to mi­grants and refugees who have moved to New Zealand.

Teacher Kristy Lor­son says the cen­tre worked well last term but it needs more re­sources to make an im­pact.

‘‘As a free home­work cen­tre we are op­er­at­ing on a tight bud­get,’’ she says.

‘‘We need ed­u­ca­tional board games, up to date dic­tio­nar­ies, en­cy­clo­pe­dias, maths books and ed­u­ca­tional books.’’

She says the free af­ter school home­work cen­tre is tar­geted to year 5 to 8 stu­dents.

‘‘We pro­vide free use of com­put­ers and print­ing ser­vices, they get spe­cialised teach­ing as­sis­tance and a free af­ter­noon tea.’’

She says hav­ing a ded­i­cated space to study can make all the dif­fer­ence to com­plet­ing home­work set in school.

‘‘A lot of these kids don’t have ac­cess to com­put­ers at home so that is a re­ally big draw­card.

‘‘They are from fam­i­lies where their par­ents may have lim­ited English skills so they strug­gle to get help at home.’’

She says the cen­tre can ben­e­fit all 8 to 12-year-old school chil­dren.

‘‘We’ve got the Kiwi bit there in the name – any­one and every­one is wel­come.’’

Club man­ager Mes­ganaw Bi­tul says it was clear within the Ethio- pian com­mu­nity that there was a need for a home­work cen­tre.

A good ed­u­ca­tion is a must to help chil­dren and fam­i­lies ad­just to life in New Zealand, he says.

Photo: ROSE CAW­LEY

Do­nate now: Ethiokiwi Home­work Cen­tre teacher Kristy Lor­son is calling for more re­sources to help boost stu­dents learn­ing.

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