Ed­u­cat­ing the masses

Marlborough Midweek - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - PAULA HULBURT

Pri­mary school chil­dren in Pic­ton are hop­ing to sign up to a key life lessons pro­gramme.

Pupils at Waikawa Bay School are keen to join the skills-based Kiwi Can ini­tia­tive.

But fund­ing is needed to en­sure a place for all 150 chil­dren at a cost of $24,000 a year.

Pro­por­tion­ally, the char­ity boasts the big­gest up­take of re­gional pupils across New Zealand with 1700 al­ready on the scheme.

Run by the Graeme Din­gle Foun­da­tion, the course helps teach chil­dren aged 5 to 12 val­ues such as in­tegrity and re­spect.

River­lands School, south of Blen­heim, is the lat­est to sign up along­side Ward School.

Marl­bor­ough re­gional man­ager Kelvin Watt says the move high­lights the suc­cess of the val­ues pro­gramme.

‘‘We’re re­ally ex­cited for Kiwi Can to po­ten­tially reach ev­ery child in Pic­ton ev­ery week next year.

‘‘Key ‘soft skills’ like col­lab­o­rat­ing with oth­ers, show­ing in­tegrity and re­spect, hav­ing the re­silience to get back up and try again ... these are the skills our kids need to be suc­cess­ful in work and life in the fu­ture.

‘‘What an in­cred­i­ble im­pact this can have on the Pic­ton of tomorrow,’’ he says.

Wither­lea School, Spring­lands School and Bo­hally In­ter­me­di­ate have all ex­pressed an in­ter­est in the ini­tia­tive.

Par­ent Natasha Billing­ton’s son Fletcher Bishell, 9, is a year 7 pupil at Pic­ton School and is a ‘‘Kiwi Can kid’’.

Her daugh­ter, now at Queen Char­lotte Col­lege, has also gone through the ini­tia­tive.

She says the pro­gramme has helped pre­pare them for adult life.

‘‘To me, it’s val­ues that, as a mum, I teach my chil­dren that’s re­in­forced in a fun way.

‘‘It can be quite tricky to teach them these val­ues but staff seem to be able to do it in a re­lat­able way.

‘‘The val­ues that Kiwi Can teaches will make them bet­ter adults,’’ she says.

PHOTO: PAULA HULBURT/STUFF

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