This term for Science Kids both Pine Hill and Ravensbourne School are involved. With 7 students from Pine Hill and 6 from Ravensbourne, making up the majority of each schools senior classes. To start the term off the students were encouraged to brainstorm ways in which they can manage their own behaviour, they discussed things like; listening to others, being kind to one another, walking in the museum, respecting other visitors to the museum, being sensible and the likes. This is then incorporated into their goal setting that they do at the beginning of each session. The kids are also encouraged to work on something that might be a little bit more tricky for themselves personally, they then reflect on this at the end of the session as to whether they think that they have achieved that goal, and why. We spent the majority of the first session in the wildlife gallery, the kids were each given a booklet with some tricky questions about the wildlife, they then had to search the gallery to find the answers to these questions. The kids seemed to really enjoy it, and were quite engaged in the process, working together in wee teams to figure out the answers. At the end they got together to share their findings. We finished up the session with a look at the Permean Monsters exhibit, which as usual was a hit!
Intensive Literacy & Numeracy (Prison)
One student decided he would try some creative writing with a moral to it; the story set in Texas during the times of gunfights and saloons. The end was result was imaginative, well written and, when shared with the others in class, was heralded as a masterpiece. It inspired the student to write a formal letter for his next piece of writing, the writer in the character of the sheriff and another character as the recipient. The student was really stunned at the positive reaction he got from his peers when he read the story to the group; it has inspired him to write further short stories in his free time based around those same characters.
Skills for Dads (Prison)
The final Skills for Dads group for the year has started at OCF. Again, there were more candidates for the course than places available, resulting in over half the spaces for the first course of 2018 being pre-allocated. The group are coming together, sharing their thoughts about being fathers, and learning from each other as well as the facilitators.
Client Support Work (Milton)
Diane* had a couple of goals she wanted to achieve while working alongside the Mission and one of these goals was to find employment. Due to having children Diane had been out of the workforce for a number of years. With the support of the Mission Diane was able to update her CV and begin applying for jobs. Diane’s strengths were that she was focussed and determined to find a job – she also showed perseverance when her applications weren’t successful. Diane after 3-4 declined job applications decided to think outside the square. She approached a local farmer to ask if he would take her on a voluntary basis so she could learn how to work on a dairy farm. The farmer took Diane on and after 2 weeks of Diane turning up to work he offered her a job. Diane was over the moon and now has a full time job. (* Not her real name)
Client Support Worker (Little Citizens)
My journey with one client has come to a happy conclusion. When I first met her she was facing financial problems, was living in fear of her abusive ex-partner, and was for all intents and purposes homeless, sleeping on a family member’s couch with nothing to call her own. Thanks to the Mission's Women in Need fund, this client was able to purchase furniture and household basics. I supported her in approaching WINZ regarding other types of financial support, and looking for affordable, suitable accommodation. She has recently moved into what she described as “finally a place to call home”, which she loves, and is now able to look to the future.
Rita has been working hard to establish the Chinese playgroup at the Hub and encouraging parents to come along. Last month our Kowhai Community Playgroup celebrated Harry’s 1st birthday. Harry’s Mum, Rita, asked us if she could bring some Chinese posters and decorations to decorate the Playroom for Harry’s birthday. We were excited to be part of Harry’s birthday celebrations. Our Playgroup is a multi-cultural one and empowers – whakamana - parents, caregivers and tamariki to bring their ideas to our group is especially important to us. Our parents, caregivers know they have ownership of our Playgroup and it was wonderful to see that in action today. Rā whānau ki Harry was sung in 3 languages: Chinese, Te Reo Māori and English. We all enjoyed the delicious Chinese food that Rita had worked hard to make, including dumplings and special Chinese cakes for the tamariki.
The centre has had a busy time with new outings over the school holidays which has created a buzz in the centre with children, parents and staff being very excited. We have been using the van which is a new experience for the children. We have had Des Ellery come and take class photos and individual photos which the families love. Some parents bring in the older siblings to have a lovely group photo taken of the children. Des the photographer is happy to do this. Dianne our new cook is providing wonderful food and is currently working on making some changes to the menu in consultation with the healthy heart organisation. I have received a lot of positive comments from the children about the food. The centre has also had an increase in numbers for dinner.