Top Headlines: Harold’s back to school
A lucky group of children heading back to school this week will be greeted by a friendly and trusting
friend, Harold the Giraffe, mascot of the Life Education Trust. Harold has been visiting kiwi kids for
24 years and over the course of this school year will see nearly half of the 450,000 primary and
intermediate aged children in New Zealand.The mobile classroom with Harold emblazoned is a familiar sight at schools, with 43 mobile
classrooms nationwide. The Life Education programme is a specialist health resource for schools
offering nineteen modules to primary and intermediate aged New Zealand kids. The highly trained
specialist teachers take lessons involving healthy eating, relationships, self esteem and cover topical
issues such as drugs and bullying.“Young people are such an important part of our society. They face challenges every day where they
make decisions that may have an impact on the rest of their lives.” Life Education Founder Trevor
Grice said.“Our goal is no child left behind, when every child in New Zealand has access to a Life Education
mobile we will be making a positive step towards reaching our goal.”In 2011 the Life Education mobile classrooms attended 1350 schools nationwide and visited over
220,000 children. “We work with schools to equip kiwi kids with the skills and knowledge to help
them live a fulfilling life.” National Educator Manager Megan Gallagher says.Life Education first started in New Zealand in 1987 when founder Trevor Grice brought the
programme from Australia after seeing the immense benefits. Life Education initially launched with
two mobile classrooms one in Auckland and one in Christchurch, today the classrooms operate from
Far North to Southland.Life Education Trust is a charity and has a small national office and a team of educators throughout
the country. “It grows by having dedicated volunteers raising money in their area to bring the
programme to their children. Business people, parents, school principals and other community
minded people that work hard year in and year out to ensure we deliver this valuable programme,”
said Mr Grice.
Tour de Taranaki
Taranaki Thoroughbred Racing holds 15 race meetings per year, and the next race meeting is one aimed at profiling and raising funds for the Life Education Trust Taranaki.
Come along and help Taranaki Thoroughbred Racing support the Life Education Trust.
Date: Thursday 19th January, 11.30am-11pm
Place: Pukekura Raceway and Function centre, Rogan Street, New Plymouth
Admission: Free, all ages
Farewell to Harold the giraffe
When you work from a travelling classroom, you have more than 8000 students each year and most of your time is spent in the dark with a giraffe, 21 years can seem like a long time.
For Jo Worner, it’s been a brilliant 21 years and she speaks to reporter Amanda Durry about moving on.
Jo Worner has always been a bit wacky.
So when she saw a job advertised for a Life Education teacher, she thought it sounded like something she would enjoy.And 21 years later, she knows it was a good decision.After all, when you work with an equally wacky giraffe named Harold, the job has to be enjoyable.
But after all those years, Jo is giving up life on the road for a quieter life based at her Geraldine home.
The Mid South Canterbury Life Education Trust covers from the Waitaki to the Rakaia and to Mount Cook.
In one year alone, around 780 sessions are held for more than 8000 children.It’s been a big job and although she knows she will miss it, Jo is looking forward to taking a step back.
For the past six years, she has shared the role with Jane Hooper and is staying on board until the end of the first term to help train a new person.“There are a lot of things I would like to do because 21 years of your life is a long time. You sort of know when it’s time to give it in so I resigned at the beginning of last year because I think it’s someone else’s turn now.“I’m really not sure what path my life will take now but I’d love to do volunteer work, maybe do some relieving and I’ve got five grandchildren with another on the way that will keep me busy,” she said.
She is also a keen gardener and might spend some time on the farm helping her husband, even if he doesn’t know it yet.It will all be a big change from “full on” days of education.She is a trained teacher and in her 21 years, the job has evolved with new additions all the time.
The interactive classroom now includes special aromas for different topics, high-tech computer graphics and 3D imaging, which complements different sound and lighting settings and walls filled with pictures, fun facts and of course, plenty of knowledge.Learning modules have also changed during her years at the helm, going from eight different programmes to now offering 19 modules.Those modules cover subjects such as self-esteem, social relationships, body systems, food and nutrition and substances for older children.“I will miss it to bits and I think I’ll miss Harold more than he will miss me – he will find some more lovely people to be friends with. I’ll miss all the great staff I’ve met over the years and the life education teachers from different seminars over the years.“The local trust has also been amazing and work so hard to support us so I will miss them as well,” she said.She admits it will be tough to say goodbye but said she will be available to relieve if needed in the van.
“There have been some lovely children over the years and I’ve had quite a few children that I’ve taught approach me as teachers. It will be a change but I don’t think I’ll ever be bored.“I might even start cooking for shearers again, who knows,” she said.
Story provided courtesy of the Ashburton Guardian.Whangerei Life Education runner up in Northland Business Excellence Awards 2011
Congratulations to the Whangerei Life Education Trust for being a runner up in the Northland Business Excellence Awards for the category of 'Northland Chamber of Commerce Best Not for Profit Organisation'. The trust got to put together a 30-second promotional video, which highlighted the good work and objectives of the trust in the local community.