A bid to put community at the heart of Redwoodtown School is set to get underway next term.
The Whānui Hub is the brainchild of year 5 and 6 teacher Rosemary Crockett.
She came up with the idea of a drop-in hub as a way of offering school families a “safe place” to get together and build relationships.
It’s a move, she says, that will benefit not just the children but their extended families and the wider neighbourhood.
“It’s about making connections within the community, the school, and kindergarten families that feed into us,” she says.
The trill of excited chatter floats in the wake of a gaggle of children as they walk across the playground.
Watching the pupils, Rosemary says her hopes for the hub include a return to forging closer bonds as communities did in the past.
“So many families out there are living in isolation from their extended whanau.
“It’s not like my day when you grew up with family nearby, now they could be all over the world.”
Hub co-ordinator Rebecca Toms has been brought on board to oversee the project which has been in the making for a couple of years.
Her oldest son is a pupil at the school, and she will be the contact person on the day.
It is a successful hub at Mayfield School in Blenheim which sparked the idea for a similar one at Redwood, says Rosemary.
A survey went out to school families to see what subjects might be useful.
Child health, budgeting and nutrition were all key areas people wanted to see covered, says Rosemary.
“It’s about the community standing up and supporting each other from within; building strength from within.”
There will be no charge to attend any of the sessions which will be held in the Kotuku Room between 9 and 11am. Free tea and coffee will be provided.
People are welcome to attend the whole session or stay for just part.
“It’s totally fluid. We’ll have guest speakers every week during term time.
“If we can get people engaged then there’ll be better outcomes for all,” she says.