Kaeo school wins spe­cial award

The Bay Chronicle - - FRONT PAGE - JENNY LING

Kaeo School has been hon­oured for its out­stand­ing con­tri­bu­tion to mak­ing a dif­fer­ence in the lives of young peo­ple.

The school won the Out­stand­ing Kiwi Can School Award at the Graeme Din­gle Foun­da­tion’s 2017 Ex­cel­lence Awards, held at Govern­ment House in Auck­land on Oc­to­ber 18.

The awards honour and cel­e­brate out­stand­ing young New Zealan­ders across all of the foun­da­tions’ pro­grammes through­out New Zealand and has been run­ning for al­most two decades.

The evening was an op­por­tu­nity to hear, first-hand, the pos­i­tive im­pact the pro­grammes have – not just on the lives of par­tic­i­pants, but also of the men­tors and vol­un­teers who are the driv­ing force be­hind their suc­cess.

Kaeo School Prin­ci­pal Paul Barker says win­ning the award ac­knowl­edges the ex­cel­lent and com­mit­ted work of ev­ery­one at the decile 2 school. His school has been in­volved in Kiwi Can pro­grammes for 20 years and sup­ports other schools from Man­gonui to Matauri Bay, he says.

‘‘Kiwi Can not only sup­ports what we do here at Kaeo, our cul­ture and our val­ues, but it adds and deep­ens our work.

‘‘It has helped to change and in­flu­ence many chil­dren’s lives over the years....the pro­gramme’s val­ues mir­ror those of our school, and that the chil­dren learn im­por­tant skills that will hold them in good stead for the fu­ture.’’

Kiwi Can is a val­ues and life skills pro­gramme designed for pri­mary and in­ter­me­di­ate school stu­dents. It reaches nearly 19,000 chil­dren in 95 schools around the coun­try.

The awards evening ac­knowl­edged the ac­com­plish­ments of 15 suc­cess­ful young Ki­wis and cel­e­brated more than 24,000 stu­dents, men­tors and vol­un­teers in­volved in the youth de­vel­op­ment pro­grammes.

The Foun­da­tion’s name­sake, moun­taineer and out­door ed­u­ca­tion pi­o­neer, Sir Graeme Din­gle, says the awards are an im­por­tant op­por­tu­nity to show­case a se­lect num­ber of in­spir­ing kids who ex­em­plify the goals and val­ues of the foun­da­tion.

‘‘The awards high­light not only some of the cir­cum­stances and harsh re­al­i­ties a lot of our Kiwi kids face, but most im­por­tantly, cel­e­brates their courage and re­silience to be able to come out the other side too.’’

Kaeo School Prin­ci­pal Paul Barker with stu­dents Shanelle Pilcher, Prisayis Poa and Jack­son Himiona.

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