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Life Education celebrates 30 years at front-line

Press Release – Life Education Trust

30 years ago, Cantabrian Trevor Grice founded Life Education in Christchurch with the aim of giving children the knowledge to make positive health choices. Fast-forward to 2018 and Life Education has reached over 300,000 of the regions primary and …Life Education celebrates 30 years at front-line of children’s health in Canterbury

30 years ago, Cantabrian Trevor Grice founded Life Education in Christchurch with the aim of giving children the knowledge to make positive health choices. Fast-forward to 2018 and Life Education has reached over 300,000 of the region’s primary and intermediate students with its proactive health and wellbeing programmes – all funded by generous supporters in the community.

Life Education Trust Canterbury will celebrate this significant milestone in Christchurch next week by bringing together past and current Trustees and Educators, supporters, and mascot Harold the giraffe, to reflect on its achievements and the increasingly complex challenges of growing up in modern New Zealand.

National Chief Executive John O’Connell says that Life Education is exceptionally proud to mark 30 years since the Trust pioneered its first programmes in Canterbury in 1988.

“Bringing two mobile classrooms from Australia to Christchurch for the purpose of empowering children with health and wellbeing knowledge was at the time revolutionary. Since then, nearly half of all primary and intermediate aged children growing up in Canterbury have taken part in Life Education and we’re now a nationwide organisation that teaches 250,000 children a year across New Zealand,” he says.

Life Education’s programmes have transformed significantly over the past three decades. While issues such as substance use have always been covered by the programme, current Canterbury Educator Amanda Thompson says that the challenges facing children growing up today are far more complex and diverse.

“New Zealand now has the highest youth suicide rate and the third highest rate of childhood obesity in the OECD. Our country also has the highest bullying rate in schools, with social media taking this beyond the school gates and also contributing to 60% of young girls having such a lack of confidence that they withdraw from daily activities.

“Our team of Educators tackle these important issues – and more – by equipping local young people with the skills they need to become more self-aware, resilient, proud of their identity and able to make their own positive choices,” she says.

To further empower children to manage the many challenges they now face, Life Education has changed the way it teaches in recent years.

O’Connell explains that the Trust’s much-loved mobile classrooms have undergone digital upgrades and new partner initiatives have been developed with the aim of reaching more children and their families.

“How we work with schools has evolved and we like to think we’re now right up in leading education practice. Today we work closely with the likes of NetSafe cyber safety experts, like John Parsons, and have partnerships with organisations like food education programme Garden to Table.

“By 2025 we aim to engage directly with 85% of children and their families each year and to provide information that is accessible anywhere at any time,” he says.

Content Sourced from scoop.co.nz
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