Educating the masses
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.