Hitch for Harold

Marlborough Midweek - - FRONT PAGE -

A sched­uled visit to five Kaik­oura schools is in jeop­ardy if the trust can­not find $6635 to fund the three-week trip.

And with the dead­line loom­ing, staff at the Blen­heim­based trust are ap­peal­ing for ‘‘good Samaritans’’ to help out fi­nan­cially to make sure the chil­dren do not miss out.

Ed­u­ca­tor Genevieve McDon­ald says the chil­dren would greatly ben­e­fit from a visit by Harold and the team, which is sched­uled to take place to­wards the end of April.

‘‘So many or­gan­i­sa­tions have al­ready do­nated to Kaik­oura in var­i­ous forms but it would be such a shame to have to with­draw for this rea­son.

‘‘Harold and his mes­sages on re­silience and care would be par­tic­u­larly help­ful at this time and as a trust we would re­ally like to be able to take the mo­bile class­room there as planned.

‘‘Lit­tle Harold is also go­ing and the chil­dren just love him. He’s the star of the show.’’

Life Ed­u­ca­tion is a char­i­ta­ble trust which de­liv­ers a health pro- gramme to chil­dren in preschool, pri­mary and in­ter­me­di­ate schools.

In 2010, the ser­vice was ex­tended to the Hu­runui re­gion and Harold made reg­u­lar vis­its to Kaik­oura.

Fol­low­ing the 7.8-mag­ni­tude earth­quake last year the trust has to find funds to pay for ex­tra fuel costs and for driver ac­com­mo­da­tion both there and back.

What was once a 90-minute jour­ney on State High­way 1 is now closer to six hours, span­ning 450 kilo­me­tres along the al­terna- tive in­land route.

Since is was es­tab­lished in 2006, Harold and his mo­bile home have vis­ited about 99 per cent of all pri­mary and in­ter­me­di­ate schools in Marl­bor­ough.

‘‘The ad­di­tional cost of tak­ing the mo­bile class­room the long way round means con­sid­er­able ex­tra costs as a re­sult of the road clo­sure, in­clud­ing pay­ing for a night’s ac­com­mo­da­tion for the truck driver as it can no longer be done in one trip.

For fur­ther in­for­ma­tion visit lifee­d­u­ca­tion.org.nz


Marl­bor­ough’s Life Ed­u­ca­tion Trust needs help to get Harold the Lit­tle Gi­raffe and his han­dler Genevieve McDon­ald on the road.

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