Press Release – Bay of Plenty Regional Council
In August, Kawerau Youth Council and Kawerau District Council launched the Adopt a Nation programme for junior schools across Kawerau. Already, momentum is starting to build as the programme catches the imagination of students and rafters alike.Adopt a Nation captures imagination
In August, Kawerau Youth Council and Kawerau District Council launched the Adopt a Nation programme for junior schools across Kawerau. Already, momentum is starting to build as the programme catches the imagination of students and rafters alike.
Adopt a Nation is a 10-week school curriculum designed by the Kawerau Youth Council and funded by the Ministry of Youth Development. The programme aims to involve every junior school student in Kawerau in the build-up to the 2013 World Rafting Champs in November.
Students from junior-school classes at Tarawera High School, South School, Pūtauaki School, and Te Whata Tau o Pūtauaki have each ‘adopted’ several nations to study in the ten week period leading up to the Rafting Champs.
Each week, students will follow a different theme with topics based around the nationalities of teams competing in the coming World Champs. During September, students studied their adopted nations’ flags and learnt about how the flags look and their meaning and history.
Youth Councillors joined the junior school students in the classrooms and got involved in teaching the younger students and building excitement about the nations they were studying.
Michael Savage, Chair of the Kawerau Youth Council, visited South School and assisted the junior class learn about the flag of Zimbabwe. “It was so much fun to watch the younger students learn about Zimbabwe and what their flag looks like. It was great seeing the curriculum we designed in action and knowing that at the end of the process, we might have the opportunity to meet a team from the countries we are studying. It makes the lessons a lot more real,” she said.
On the other side of the world, the rafting teams are also starting to enter the spirit of Adopt a Nation and have sent messages of introduction and support to the classes and organisers. The messages have shown their support for the programme and said they look forward to meeting the students when they arrive and start training for the Worlds in the coming months.
Organisers have received messages from attending nations as far away as Belgium, Bosnia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, UK, Japan and all are keen to be part of the programme.
The Belgium team wrote “I’m a teacher myself so I think it is a wonderful project. I’m from the Belgium women’s team and we will be in Rotorua around the 2 November. So maybe we can come over on a rest day to tell you something about Belgium or just to meet the children. Thank you for inviting us to the project. We will keep in touch.”
The Junior team from Brazil wrote “it’s with great affection that the junior team of Brazil agrees to participate in the project. Let’s get talking!”
Student work will be displayed in the Adopt a Nation dome at The Global Water House Festival in November. Students are hoping to get involved during the training period and competition rounds of the Champs and look forward to some arranged meetings with their ‘adopted’ nations.
Find out more and follow the progress of the students and schools on the Kawerau Adopt a Nation Facebook page: www.facebook.com/adoptanation.