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Learning respect and life skills
Timaru Herald, Timaru Canterbury  by Esther Ashby-Coventry
23 Mar 2020
General News - Page 4 - 349 words - ID 1251020961 - Photo: Yes - Type: News Item - Size: 245.00cm2

More than 720 pupils at six South Canterbury primary schools are benefiting from the Kiwi Can Values and Life Skills programme.

Aimed at low decile schools, and under the umbrella of the Graeme Dingle Foundation, the programme's aim is to teach children resilience and respect.

South Canterbury schools running the programme are Oceanview Heights, Timaru South School, Bluestone, Makikihi, Waimate Main and Waimate Centennial.

New entrants to year 6 pupils learn through activities, games, role play and discussion. In South Canterbury 723 children participate in the programme every week.

It is facilitated by Kiwi Can team leaders Gabrielle Lilleyman and Sam Robinson.

The lessons were a safe haven, particularly for the pupils who did not have a structured home life, Lilleyman said.

Using a lot of praise and awards, she managed to break down barriers for pupils who were not keen to participate to start with, she said.

"When I see improvement [in attitude and actions] that is my favourite part."

She said sometimes there was a bit of an age gap - though she is only in her early 20s.

"We were talking about emotions [one day] and they thought they were emojis."

On another occasion when a question was presented on what artist Leonardo de Vinci invented the response was "Chromebook".

This term's theme is respect, focusing on school, community and environment.

Robinson said practical examples of respect were used, such as if someone was bumped and helped up.

"We would ask them how it felt to be looked after."

Watching children grow in their understanding of community and relationships was a highlight for him.

One of the recent community projects he and Lilleyman had tasked the children with was thank you cards for groups in the community such as Fire and Emergency New Zealand and waste management. Over the year they will cover resilience, integrity and positive relationships.

The Graeme Dingle foundation was established as a charity in 1995 and has worked with 230,000 children since 2006.

Caption Text:
Kiwi Can co-team leader Gabrielle Lilleyman presents the values and life skills programme at Bluestone School. BEJON HASWELL/STUFF

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