Sep 30, 2013


I’d like to do something a little different for my Blog this month.  I’d like to write about my personal experience with the project taking place at Ahipara School over Term 3.  I had approached the school initially a little later than I usually would have due to another school dropping out.  Jackie Osborne the Principal was more than accommodating for our needs to run the project.  A classroom was conveniently out of use for the term so we were able to set up easily in there.  Jackie promptly got on to contacting the families she believed most deserving (those with children with disability or health issues or the larger families etc) of the opportunity as well as inviting a few from my waiting list in the area.  As Ahipara is my home town and community I offered to tutor the classes which was snapped up in a flash.  I trained 3 groups of 7 throughout the term, 20 hours for each family and 60 hours of work overall for me.
The training started on Monday the 29th of July and continued with two classes on the Wednesday the 31st of July. I’ve had such an amazing time tutoring these classes and getting to know some of the families in my community.  Some had computer skills and some had none which made it interesting to teach but everyone supported each other in their learning and I checked in at the end of each class with everyone to make sure they had learnt something new (which they assure me they all had each time).  I also had great feedback about the training, the material and the project in general which was fantastic as I don’t usually hear such comments as the Regional Coordinator as I only usually attending Launch and Graduation with the families.
Graduate, Sharlah Motu cutting the celebration cake.
From left:  Emma Tracey, CiH Regional Coordinator with Theirry Quedec (the only Male graduate) and Jackie Osborne, Ahipara School Principal.
We held the Graduation on the 25th of September at 4 pm at the school for 19 families in total.  We had several special guests to this event being Mayor Wayne Brown and John Carter (running for mayor), the Northland Age had RSVP’d but unfortunately did not make it (but have asked for the details and a photo to publish).  We also had Adele Gardner and Charmaine Foster on behalf of the 2020 Far North Trust and a special speaker, Violet Horn, who graduated CiH in 2010 at Pukepoto School and is still achieving thanks to her own ambition and her CiH experience.  It was great to hear Violet’s experiences and this speech brought a warm and cosy atmosphere to the whole event.
The Loot!
We had a spectacular display set up with the computers and one parent commented that when she graduated from her business studies the event did not compare to what we had put together.  Jackie the Principal commented later on what a fantastic event it was and how pleased she was with the whole project all together, also saying that many of the whanau involved would never have been seen in the school at all previously.  She also requested to be put back on the waiting list for another round of CiH at the school and we are starting Stepping UP at the school in Term 4 which is available to anyone in the community wanting to up skill their basic computer skills.  After our afternoon tea the whanau were ready and waiting anxiously to get their computers home.  I have already had some positive emails and text messages about how much they loved the course and having a computer in their home now.
Ahipara School CiH Graduates and their tamariki with Adele Gardner and Charmaine Foster from 2020 Far North ICT Trust, Jackie Osborne - Ahipara School Principal and John Carter - Far North Mayoral Electorate.
Pakaraka School and Omanaia School are ready to get started in Term 4 with 7 families to train at Pakaraka and 5 families at Omanaia.  I am excited to meet and get to know yet another group of deserving families.
 Anyone interested in Stepping UP at Ahipara School in Term 4 can contact me on 021 047 6806 for more details of classes and topics.  They will be held on Monday’s at 5:30 pm starting from the 14th of October.

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