Auckland school students are visiting their local mosques, and a Muslim school is opening its doors to the community, as schools across the country seek ways to heal the community after the mosque attacks in Christchurch.
Christian youth workers who work in the Mt Roskill primary, intermediate and grammar schools campus have taken groups of young people to pray and sing with the Muslim community at the local Stoddard Rd mosque.
Mt Roskill Grammar School students have made a huge banner of love and support which two Muslim teachers have taken down to Christchurch for families who lost loved ones.
And Al-Madinah School in Māngere, one of the country's two Muslim schools, has reached out in the opposite direction and invited local schools, churches, Māori groups and politicians to a prayer service at the school at 11am tomorrow, Wednesday.
"We are having a programme to thank New Zealanders for supporting us and trying to have the understanding," said Al-Madinah principal Asin Ali.
"We'll also be doing a prayer meeting to pray for those deceased, and it will be a venue for any other church groups or community voices or individuals in our community to come along and feel that they have done something towards this major disaster."
Ali, whose school has a capped roll of 550 and another 500 on a waiting list, said some of the school's families lost relatives in the massacre and many parents had flown to Christchurch. Ali is also going for the funerals, expected to be on Thursday or Friday.
He held a meeting for families on Sunday which decided to keep the school open this week.
"The feedback that has come to us from the NZ community has played a major role in that decision," he said.
"The amount of support that has come to us from churches and leaders in the community has given us great hope and great support to manage our lives from now onwards."
Mt Roskill Grammar principal Greg Watson said many of his 100 or so Muslim students also lost relatives. The school had a scheduled holiday on Monday after Polyfest and held a special assembly when students returned today, Tuesday.
The school's two Muslim teachers had planned to go to Christchurch todaybut waited a day so that they could take the banner containing messages from about 200 students.
Armed police have been patrolling outside the Mt Roskill campus as well as at Al-Madinah and its neighboring Zayed College for Girls in Māngere. Mt Roskill Primary School principal Mike O'Reilly said their presence reassured his 150 Muslim students.
"They are armed, which for a middle-aged New Zealander like me is quite confronting, but actually our Muslim families and community see them around and feel protected. They are doing it well," he said.
Global Hope Missions, run by Pasifika husband-and-wife team Peter and Tili Leilua, has taken groups of students representing all strands of Mt Roskill's multicultural community to visit the local mosque.
"We've been going down to the mosque and singing some songs and giving them some flowers," Peter Leilua said.
"People are just showing a lot of support - the churches around Mt Roskill as well, and also just teaching people how to cope with this sort of stuff as well. It's opening up the space for people to come and talk."
Ministry of Education deputy secretary Katrina Casey said the ministry has provided trauma support to 68 schools and 19 preschools in Christchurch, including up to 20 schools and three preschools that have lost students, parents or other loved ones.
Trauma support has also been provided to 45 schools in Wellington, 21 in Dunedin, five in Auckland and four in the Waikato.