Mo­bile class­room’s long reach

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By LAURA MCLEAY

The iconic Harold the Gi­raffe vis­ited Te Poi Pri­mary School last week – much to the de­light of the stu­dents there.

The Life Ed­u­ca­tion Mo­bile Class­room al­ways makes its first stop at Te Poi each year be­fore go­ing on to other schools in the dis­trict.

Ed­u­ca­tor Shel­ley Mar­shall said Te Poi School’s loy­alty to the bus is why it starts the school year there.

‘‘The chil­dren here are so re­cep­tive, and they al­ways re­ally en­joy it,’’ she said. Last week the mo­bile class­room also went to St Joseph’s and will be back later in the term to visit Mata­mata Chris­tian School and Firth Pri­mary.

Mata­mata Pri­mary will have its yearly visit in term three.

At Te Poi the stu­dents learnt a num­ber of things from Harold in­clud­ing how to be friends with oth­ers and how best to deal with con­flict.

‘‘ This year the school is fo­cus­ing on So­cial Re­la­tions so we have been talk­ing about re­la­tion­ships,’’ Mrs Mar­shall said.

They watched short DVDS and par­tic­i­pated in role plays and team ac­tiv­i­ties. Stu­dent Wiki Horne, 11, said she en­joyed hav­ing Harold back at school.

‘‘This year we learnt to be friends with peo­ple and not to lie to your friends,’’ she said.

Elisa Sch­wabauer, 10, was also thrilled to have Harold vis­it­ing.

‘‘ We learnt about be­ing kind. I look for­ward to Harold com­ing ev­ery year,’’ she said.

Joell Poto, 10, reck­ons he re­mem­bers ev­ery­thing he has learnt be­cause it was so in­ter­est­ing.

Harold has been vis­it­ing kiwi kids for 24 years and over the course of this school year will see nearly half of the 450,000 pri­mary and in­ter­me­di­ate aged chil­dren in New Zealand.

The teach­ers in the Life Ed­u­ca­tion bus take lessons in­volv­ing healthy eat­ing, re­la­tion­ships, self-es­teem and cover top­i­cal is­sues such as drugs and bul­ly­ing.

Mak­ing friends: From left, Se­bas­tian Ot­tosen, ed­u­ca­tor Shel­ley Mar­shall, Elisa Sch­wabauer, Joell Poto and Wiki Horne talk to Harold the Gi­raffe at Te Poi last week.

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