Adopt a School initiative takes off

Thursday November 19, 2015 Written by Published in Paddling
Members of the Avarua school welcome New Zealand’s Waitakere club part of the Adopt a School programme in 2013. Vaka Eiva organisers are running the programme again this year. 15111384 Members of the Avarua school welcome New Zealand’s Waitakere club part of the Adopt a School programme in 2013. Vaka Eiva organisers are running the programme again this year. 15111384

FROM A humble start in 2011, the Adopt a School initiative by the Vaka Eiva organisers has gained momentum to become a major part of the week-long paddling event.

The initiative is a pathway to emphasising the huge paddling event as an excellent teaching and learning opportunity for Cook Islands schoolchildren.

Over the years, several paddling teams have developed long term relationships with schools.

Vaka Eiva 2015 coordinator, Chrissy Thomas says the annual event brings much excitement the Cook Islands and is a wonderful opportunity for school students of all ages and their communities to meet paddling athletes and teams from all over the world.

In turn, she says, it provides opportunities for schools to share with the athletes the unique culture of the Cook Islands through the Adopt a School initiative.

“Adopt a School provides an opportunity for paddling athletes and teams to forge links with a local school in the Cook Islands as a form of cultural exchange and to give, in kind, much-needed educational resources to the school children, by adopting a school,” says Thomas.

“For our Cook Islands schools, the initiative provides valuable educational opportunities to get behind and support the Vaka Eiva 2015 Festival through a number of learning experiences and cultural exchanges between schools and teams.

“Furthermore, the Adopt a School initiative gives students a better understanding of the world around them in relation to their own position in the world.”

Adopted schools and students will show support for paddling athletes and teams by:

• Hosting paddling athletes and teams during a school visit

• Learning more about their adopted paddling family through quality teaching and learning experiences, ie geographic studies of participating teams etc.

• Offering encouragement and support through a number of strategies and learning opportunities; for example letters of support, placards, posters etc. “Once partnerships with schools have been arranged, teams and athletes are encouraged to make contact with schools to identify any particular resource needs that would be of most benefit to their adopted school.”

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