KiwiCan with Graeme Dingle Foundation

Kiwi Can in action at Huntly West Primary School

The Kiwi Can programme offered by the Graeme Dingle Foundation Waikato in many low decile schools in the Waikato continues to be a force of change among young children who learn the life skills and values expected in our society today. One school to be offered this opportunity, Huntly West Primary, is fortunate to have two enthusiastic programme leaders, Maeana and Antony, provide hour-long sessions to each class, once a week for the entire school year.

KiwiCan with Graeme Dingle Foundation
In April, I received an invitation to attend two sessions to see the programme in action at Huntly West Primary. The smiling faces of excited children greeted us in the hall. It was to be a fun session. Sub-topics of Positive Relationships: Fairness and Fair play, Leadership, and Conflict Resolution had already been covered during the term and were today being revised in a question-and-answer manner. Other topics covered in the programme include Integrity, Respect and Resilience.

KiwiCan with Graeme Dingle Foundation
Each child respectfully gave their response and was also listened to by the rest of the group. To develop a fun time in values learning, the session was divided into physical activities to energise and engage the children. The value skills taught were actively practised in the games and later discussed. The children quickly understood the issues that can become apparent on the playing field (and elsewhere) and had now learnt how to resolve them through guided practice. These values are endorsed week by week and into subsequent years as the children progress through their schooling.

KiwiCan with Graeme Dingle Foundation

School principals say that Kiwi Can has a noticeable effect on how well their children interact with each other, with a decrease in bullying and lower truancy rates. It is hoped that through this programme, children will be empowered to be confident contributors to New Zealand life, be resilient and become model citizens.

At the end of the session, the class was reluctant to go.

One child who had participated fully, enthused: “I love Kiwi Can because it is fun, and I like the leaders.”

The Common Good Foundation (on behalf of The Tindall Foundation) provided a grant of $10,000 in the past year to facilitate the delivery of the Kiwi Can programme at Huntly West School.

Report by Betty-Ann Kamp
Common Good Foundation
April 2021