Stephanie is the Rotorua Daily Post's head of news

Rotary clubs fundraise to bring Kiwi Can to Rotorua schools

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INITIATIVE: Paranapa Poaru, Robyn Skelton and Anita Davis at Sunset Primary School, one of the first recipients of the Kiwi Can programme. PHOTO/SUPPLIED
INITIATIVE: Paranapa Poaru, Robyn Skelton and Anita Davis at Sunset Primary School, one of the first recipients of the Kiwi Can programme. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

An initiative focused on teaching pupils respect, integrity and resilience could be brought to Rotorua next year if it reaches its funding target.

The five Rotary clubs of Rotorua have banded together to help bring the Kiwi Can programme to Rotorua primary and intermediate schools, raising $52,000 of the $85,000 needed to get set up.

The programme is already delivered in 11 regions in New Zealand and holds regular modules focusing on four key themes - positive relationships, integrity, resilience and respect.

The Rotorua project is being co-ordinated by Rotary North Club's Robyn Skelton who believes Kiwi Can "effectively helps children to 'self-advocate' in terms of behavioural expectations".

She said seeing the programme operating in Tauranga schools encouraged her to pick up the challenge in Rotorua.

"I was motivated to do this having discovered that Rotorua had 14 Decile 1 to 3 primary and intermediate schools, out of the 21 schools".

Ms Skelton said she was thrilled with the support from the Rotary clubs.

"So far we have raised $52,000 of the $85,000 needed and it's looking really positive."

She said six schools were already interested in the programme and she hoped to get enough funding to start delivering it next year.

Te Taumata o Ngati Whakaue Iho Ake general manager Roana Bennett said she was delighted to see the initiative.

"I am pleased to see Kiwi Can may come to Rotorua. It is an evidence-based programme that has been proven effective in a range of different settings. There are a number of people committed to raising education and life outcomes for Rotorua youth and particularly for Maori youth.

"The Kiwi Can programme will be a great asset for our community."

Sunset School was the first school to show interest in Kiwi Can. Principal Niels Rasmussen said it was a good supplement to the values his pupils were taught in school.

"It looks like quite a good programme centred around four key areas that fit in well with our school philosophy.

"It will help teach children about consequences and taking responsibility for their actions as well as being self-affirming and affirming others.

"What we liked most about it is the holistic approach the programme takes and that the whole school is included."

As well as funding from the Rotary clubs, the programme has had $12,500 committed from the Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust, and would be a recipient of the Rotorua Charity Luncheon on November 11.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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