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e-learning benefits from ASB Trust

PRESS RELEASE
An e-learning centre latest recipient of ASB Trust grant

An e-learning centre at the northernmost primary school in New Zealand is the latest hi-tech Northland project to gain a grant from the ASB Community Trust.

Remote Te Hapua School, north of Kaitaia, has been granted $220,000 toward building an electronic learning centre which will save year nine and 10 students from a two-hour bus ride to Kaitaia College.

The centre, which will also be open to the wider community, will include equipment such as computers, interactive whiteboards, data projector and broadband internet connections for video-conferencing links to the college.

The Ministry of Education is covering the cost of the students’ educational needs, including a full-time teacher, while the Trust’s contribution allows the wider community to access the facilities.

“This community has high social needs,” says ASB Community Trust CEO Jennifer Gill, “and due to its remote location it has very limited access to other funding resources. This is an innovative project that will potentially increase learning outcomes for everyone.”

The Te Hapua announcement comes on top of more than $750,000 worth of Trust grants made to support a digital strategy initiative for Northland. The initiative, in partnership with the Government’s Community Partnership Fund, aims to make information technology available to the wider community.

The Trust’s grants are helping The Cyber Whare Network and Ngatiwai Trust Board with their digital strategies.

These include Kawakawa’s He Iwi Kotahi Tatou Trust setting up a video editing room and computer equipment in it’s upgraded Kawakawa offices. Whangarei’s One Double Five Whare Roopu is setting up three “cyber whare” sites with video conferencing and interactive whiteboards so participants can collectively work on a large screen. Meanwhile, in Motatau just south of Kawakawa, a building in the old district high school is being modified and kitted out with computer hardware, software and furniture as another community base for high-speed internet access.

The Trust is backing the projects because of their potential to let communities reach out and grow. It hopes these partnerships will evolve to develop a digital network for all of Northland.

The initiatives also have access to the Government’s $20.7 million Community Partnership Fund, with Community and Voluntary Sector Minister Luamanuvao Winnie Laban recently saying the projects “highlight the healthy ICT appetites New Zealanders have and our potential to be leaders in community ICT projects.”

ASB Community Trust decides on grants in the fields of education, the arts, sport, recreation, health and social services areas each month. About $55 million is granted to community groups and projects in Auckland and Northland each year.

Founded on the sale of its shares in the ASB bank, the Trust’s investments have allowed it to grant more than $500m since being formed in 1988. Any incorporated or charitable trust can apply for funds, provided they are a not-for-profit organisation. For more details about applying, visit the Trust’s website: www.ASBCommunityTrust.org.nz

ENDS

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