Wes­ley thrives in host role

Franklin County News - - News - By NICKI TURNER

Those call­ing in at Wes­ley Col­lege last week would have found it a quiet place with all 320 stu­dents and staff in­volved in the ASB Polyfest 2009 at the Manukau Su­per­bowl.

For the sec­ond year run­ning, Wes­ley Col­lege was the host school for this huge multi-cul­tural event, a big ask as it is the small­est school at the fes­ti­val.

Be­ing the host school re­quires all stu­dents to be am­bas­sadors for the fes­ti­val. They help on all the stages, on the gates, sell­ing pro­grammes and as­sist­ing vis­i­tors with di­rec­tions. This year they were clearly vis­i­ble to all in their bright green shirts.

Prin­ci­pal Ian Faulkner said he was ex­tremely proud of his stu­dents and staff.

At­tend­ing an event like Polyfest is im­por­tant for his stu­dents be­cause it al­lows them to show­case their cul­ture while learn­ing about oth­ers.

‘‘ It al­lows our stu­dents to be­come aware of their di­verse cul­tural back­grounds and, un­less a young per­son is aware of his iden­tity he is not go­ing to achieve aca­dem­i­cally,’’ he said.

Wes­ley Col­lege is ex­tremely grate­ful to the sup­port it re­ceived from NZ Bus. Their newly branded fleet of Waka Pa­cific buses trans­ported the stu­dents and staff for the four days of the fes­ti­val.

This year Manukau City Coun­cil made all its parks smoke free. This leg­is­la­tion, along with all stall­hold­ers be­ing en­cour­aged to sup­port the Let’s Beat Di­a­betes Cam­paign, by of­fer­ing health­ier food op­tions, made for an ex­tremely pos­i­tive at­mos­phere at Polyfest 09.

The an­nual event is the largest Maori and Pa­cific Is­lands cul­tural fes­ti­val in the world with more than 9000 secondary school stu­dents tak­ing part and more than 80,000 vis­i­tors.

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