May 11, 2011


After starting their training on the 9th of February the group at Taipa Area School were pleased to be graduating after a long 10 weeks of training with their tutor Anna Tripp.  Anna busily trained 20 whanau in three groups over Term 1 of this year and did a fantastic job.  One of the tasks she did with her classes was started a chainmail over email.  As each person received the mail they added their own message to a Word document, saved it, attached it to their email and passed it on to the next recipient.  This was not only a fantastic way to learn how to email, attach, alter a Word document etc but also a great way to get to know their fellow class mates.  I think this was an awesome idea from Anna.

The graduation took place on the 8th of April.  There was a gathering at the school at 4 pm.  After saying a few words we got stuck straight into handing out certificates and of course computers.  This group were eager to get their computers home to try them out.  Well done to all of you from Taipa who took part and completed the training.

Kaingaroa School held their graduation on the 3rd of May at the school assembly.  Unfortunately Kirsten Dolfing who did an amazing job tutoring the 20 families was unable to attend due to other work commitments.  Kirsten was great with the participants and had a few good ideas up here sleeve as well, she was so organised and did a lot of research to put together interesting and well designed lesson plans.  Thank you Kirsten for all your hard work!

The graduation itself went down a treat.  The tamariki of the school performed some Waiata and the head boy and girl bravely got up and got the ball rolling with some wonderful speeches.  The Principal of the school Paul Matthews spoke along with Di Das, the National Computers in Homes Coordinator who was visiting from Wellington and Eric Shakelton the 2020 Far North ICT Trustee.  We also had Adele Gardner and John Windleborn there showing their support on behalf of the Trust.

The children were so well behaved throughout the assembly and it was great they could see their elders learning new skills.  It just reinforces to the kids how great it is to learn even when you have finished school.  After the whanau collected their certificates we had some great kai and they whisked their computers off home to start using them.

Petrina Hodgson from The Northland Age came along and took some photos and an article was published in The Northland Age 10 May 2011 edition.  Also published was a small article about Mangamuka School.  We have confirmed that we will be able to answer their pleas for computes and are going to start the programme in their school in Term 1 of 2012.  We have three old PC’s we are going to provide in the meantime to keep them going.
 What a successful term 1 of 2011 we have had.  Term 2 brings about training that will be based in Kaikohe at Kaikohe West and Kaikohe East Schools and the training will continue in that area until the end of the year.  The Kaikohe groups are very ICT focused and have been extremely accommodating to myself and the project so far.  We have completed putting 77 families through the project for this round of funding and have a further 100 families rearing to go through to the June 2012.  We have had so much interest in the project we are doing our best to get to every school that has expressed interest.
So to sign off I must thank both the schools that have had their graduations, Taipa Area School and Kaingaroa School.  The principals, especially to Paul Matthews, thank you for taking us on at short notice and really pushing things through.  To the tutors Anna and Kirsten, we rely on the tutors to make things happen and you both pulled through with complete enthusiasm, thank you.  And finally to the families, well done, you deserve your computer after your commitment to the training and I hope you will email me soon and let me know how you are getting on.

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