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Food in Schools is a start; now let’s deal with tough issues

For Immediate Release

19/6/13

Food in Schools is a start; now let’s deal with the tough issues

Following the announcement of the $9.5 million dollar government investment in the ‘Food For Schools’ programme, the Choice Foundation joins a growing list of children’s advocacy groups that have said that while the move is a step in the right direction, more needs to be done to combat the cycle of child and youth poverty in New Zealand.

In contrast to organizations who have concentrated their efforts on pressuring the government in regards to housing and healthcare, Carl Sunderland, the Founder of the Choice Foundation and winner of a Kiwibank local hero medal, feels that refocusing government investment in education is the best way to break the cycle of poverty and dependency.

“Having worked with at-risk kids for over seventeen years, I’ve seen that there is too little being done to ensure that children see education as a valuable tool rather than a chore. Without a positive outlook for their future, students are not motivated to work hard to succeed” said Mr Sunderland.

He went on to say that, “the kids who go through our StandTall programme learn to have career aspirations, set goals, and work hard to achieve them. We work to provide kids that want to succeed with the opportunities for them to do so.”

What is surprising to Mr Sunderland is that while his comments are backed up by a 2009 Ministry of Youth Development report on Youth Development Programmes, he feels that little has been done since to ensure that programmes such as StandTall are given the support to maximise their potential impact on a long term solution for our children.

“To operate we have had to rely on businesses and private donors as well as participating in events like Round the Bays, however we would love to work with government to ensure that we balance short-term solutions with a long term strategy for boosting motivation and educational achievement among at-risk children.” said Mr. Sunderland.
This can-do attitude has attracted the SKYCITY NZ Breakers to partner with the Choice Foundation on a PledgeMe campaign in order to raise the $10,000 required to send the 2013 StandTall recruits to cadet camp.
To take part in the StandTall PledgeMe campaign today, visit www.pledgeme.co.nz/1114  

ENDS

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