Residents of Maryanne and Elizabeth R rest homes received the gifts of song and dance last week.

Stratford Primary School's kapa haka group performed for the residents.

Stratford Primary's head of department for Taha Maori, Sheenagh Fairclough, says the students visited the rest homes as part of Māori Language Week.

"Performing in front of the rest home residents is beneficial for the tamariki because it gives them the opportunity to bring some cheer to our older generation and give back to our elders.

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"Some of the residents don't have visitors and it is a great way to bring some cheer into their day."

Kapa haka tutor Whaea Wharekuka Tongawhikau says the students performed with passion, commitment and a love for te reo.

"It is really good to have kids in the community showcasing their talents."

Sheenagh says the students are achieving the goals of their AIM acronym, with A being achieve, I being inquire and M being Manaakitanga.

"In this instance we are showing Manaakitanga towards others. The tamariki are encouraged to stop and talk with the residents which fills the tamariki's hearts as they get to experience the true essence of showing manaakitanga to others.

"Many of the tamariki have grandparents in a rest home and some never get a chance to experience this stage of life."

Sheenagh says it is important the tamariki have an opportunity to perform their waiata and haka in front of an audience and practice their skills in a real life context.

"Many hours of practice goes into their performance and it is also a chance for them to wear their Kakahu (costume) with pride."

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