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A New Resource Teaching Gisborne Kids Skills For Life

A New Resource Teaching Gisborne Kids Skills For Life

Kaiti School is one of the first primary schools to trial Crackerjack Kids, as part of a pilot happening in Gisborne.

Gisborne has the highest rate of childhood obesity in New Zealand, the second-highest rate of unemployment, and the lowest rate of life expectancy .

But one new initiative is setting out to change the statistics, by teaching important life skills to primary school students.

Crackerjack Kids is a teaching resource that is currently undergoing a two-year pilot in 14 Gisborne primary schools.

Developed by InnerFit, Crackerjack Kids offers physical education modules that fit within the NZ School Curriculum and teach students important skills including self-control, respecting one another, becoming team players, and building confidence.

Kaiti School is one of 14 schools in the Tairawhiti region to be trialling Crackerjack Kids.

Kaiti School Principal Billie-Jean Potaka-Ayton explains, “We have noticed a huge improvement in fitness levels, students’ confidence to participate and contribute in a team environment, and these skills are moving into the classroom and other contexts.”

She adds, “There has been a huge change in mindset around the teaching of PE at Kaiti School. Before we would miss this lesson but now, no teacher misses PE because it is part of everyday and it is fun. We want our kids to value physical activity, hauora and well being. I have seen a significant change in our teachers as well.”

Since the beginning of 2016, InnerFit have partnered with Sport Gisborne Tairawhiti to trial Crackerjack Kids in the region.

Sport Gisborne Tairawhiti CEO Brent Sheldrake explains, “I feel it is a real game changer... As a community we face many challenges. We have the highest percentage of decile 1-3 schools in the country, and there are many barriers to regular quality sport and physical education opportunities for our kids. If we can invest in initiatives like this, we can build the platform for a better future.”

InnerFit Founder & CEO Ken Youngson explains, “School is the one institution that every single New Zealander has to pass through. It’s the most important place to ensure that young Kiwis are learning key skills that will give them a good start in life.”

“The Gisborne region has some pretty damning statistics. In terms of unemployment, drug addiction, obesity, and life expectancy.

We don’t want to wait until it’s too late, or until these kids are getting locked up or getting into serious trouble. This is a preventative way of showing kids that they don’t have to make poor life choices.”

Youngson adds, “We estimate that 75% of kids in this region are going to be affected by our pilot. We want to teach them how to make healthy decisions and how to learn key life lessons with Crackerjack Kids. And ultimately, we want this in all Kiwi schools.”

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