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Arming Parents To Build Learning Communities

Rise Up Trust -Media Release- 04 May, 2008

‘Arming Parents To Build Learning Communities’

Arming parents with the necessary tools to teach their children how to solve everyday problems is the basis behind a community initiative set up by two Mangere Teachers.

Sita Selupe and Cecily Taufelila are the masterminds behind Rise Up Trust an initiative aimed at helping families set their children up for success in Education.

After 10 years teaching the two Mangere Teachers have left the classroom and set out to strengthen relationships between children, parents and schools.

Pacific Island underachievement in Education can be attributed to many things including high class numbers, lack of knowledge about how children learn, mismatch of home and school values and ‘old school’teaching.

Rise Up Trust have developed a programme called ‘Building Learning Communities’ and have been running FREE Parent & Community workshops from Mangere and Clendon to share some of the ‘Hidden rules’ of learning with over 50 families now.

Sita Selupe has trialled the Rise Up model with family and church members taking children through everyday problem solving. Quantum Learning and Quality time with children are some of the benefits families gain from attending the Rise Up Trust workshops. Parent Rongopai states how she felt after attending the 7 week programme ‘Empowered, confident and fruitful…fruitful because you can see the outcomes’.

“When parents understand how children learn, which impacts everything children do, only then can they begin to fulfil their role in setting their children up for success in education” says Sita Selupe. Many PI students have learning styles which are not catered well for in the traditional classroom. If this is also the case from the home setting and children are not given legitimate ways to express their gifts and talents at home then this often manifests as a child with behaviour problems and possibly an at risk youth. “You don’t know, what you don’t know” was a comment made by a parent participant from Mangere who has paved the way to introduce ‘Building Learning Communities’ to her church Mangere PIPC starting Monday 19th May, 6.30pm.

Rise Up Trust will be officially launching their Building Learning Communities programme at 5.30pm Sat 10 May, 2008 at the Mangere Baptist Church cnr Bader Dr & Ashgrove Ave.

The night will feature the Birth of Rise Up Trust, Awards for participants, testimonies and ‘Are you SMARTER than a Rise Up Parent?’ where parents will square off against local school teachers from South Auckland.

Facilitators have been volunteering their services and are actively seeking funding to extend the Rise Up Trust programmes to the wider community.




How long has the programme been running for?

The Rise Up ‘Building Learning Communities’ Parenting programmes have been running for 18 months. The programme consists of seven workshops. We started our first parenting workshop in the Clendon Public library and have continued to use facilities in the local Mangere community.

Where the idea came from?

Sita had a defining moment in her teaching career when her year two class undertook an inquiry project to clean up Tarata Creek in 2003. This experience was the catalyst in Sita taking what she had learnt in that year of her teaching and using it with her own children and wider extended family. In 2006 Sita started home schooling on Saturday mornings with her children, nieces, nephews, cousins in her garage using the research based models of teaching and learning such as Inquiry learning, learning styles and six thinking hats. Using these models of learning in her own home had proven more successful than in the classroom. This experience prompted Sita to share these tools with parents, teachers and all members of the community. Thus began the birth of Rise Up Parenting workshops in November 2006 named in memory of Riki Harry Mafi.

How many families were initially involved?

We had seven families that were involved right from the start of the workshops. These families consisted of our friends from church and our own family members.

How are we currently funding the programme?

We started off in 2006 with no funding at all. We used facilities that were for free such as the Clendon Library. We borrowed all IT equipment from a school and we have since had items donated. Rise Up Trust was registered as a Charitable Trust in 2007.

What is our Rise Up vision?

Our vision is to ‘Empower People of Aotearoa to positively contribute to the well being of their families and communities’

Our aim is to:

To develop and provide quality services for Maori, Pasifika and their communities.

Teaching backgrounds of Facilitators

Sita Selupe

Sita has been a qualified teacher for 11 years. Sita Selupe taught at Viscount Primary school and left at 2004 where the teaching at this school is on the cutting edge in education. She holds a Bachelor of Education and a Diploma in Teaching. Sita is of both Tongan and Niuean descent and married with four children.

Cecily Taufelila

Cecily Taufelila holds a Bachelor of Education and Diploma of Teaching in 1996. She also started her teaching career at Viscount Primary school and taught there from 1997 until 2001. She then applied for a teaching position at Papatoetoe West primary school and has taught there for six years. She is still currently teaching at Papatoetoe West on a part time basis. Cecily is of Niuean descent.

The Rise Up Trust programmes aim to work with church, schools and other community organisations.


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