Teaching young children values right from the start

Source: Stuff – Partnership Content.

Cori Maroroa knows first hand just how good the Kiwi Can programme is for kids.

After all, Maroroa loved it when she went through it a primary school as a student.

Now she is helping new generations of primary school students benefit from the same programme as one of its senior leaders.

Coming from a sporting background, Maroroa began working for Kiwi Can in Rotorua a year ago and remembered the experience she had as a child.

“I remember this program, it was fun, exciting, we learnt about respect and values, so it was a positive experience for me.”

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Kiwi Can is a primary school programme, supported by the Graeme Dingle Foundation, helping kids understand each other, establish respect and learn valuable life skills.

Maroroa says the programme is about forming values at a young age, to resolve issues both now and later on in life when they encounter difficulties.

“It is all about giving dedicated time to teaching kids life values and skills, helping them, or teaching our kids that the core values and qualities that they have can help them through any challenge.”

Respect is a theme that is constantly built on throughout Kiwi Can’s programme all through a child’s primary school years, says Maroroa.

Kiwi Can leader Cori Maroroa with pupils from Horohoro School.
DAVID LUPTON
Kiwi Can leader Cori Maroroa with pupils from Horohoro School.

“It’s that establishment of values at quite a young age, and over the years they start to develop and have an understanding of what these values are.

“I feel like quite often people tell someone ‘you’re disrespectful’ and, really, they don’t have an understanding of what that word is that they keep saying,” she says.

She says the kids look forward to the activities each week, asking teachers when the next session is, and she is always met with smiling faces at the primary schools, because Kiwi Can “delivers life values and skills in a fun and engaging way.”

Further than the programme, she says just having the team in and around the school as positive role models helps the kids.

“Out in the playground, participating in any sport, I come from a big sporting background so sport’s my go-to.”

After a year of being a senior leader, she is being promoted to assistant coordinator next term.

She has been integral in getting Kiwi Can off the ground and building a good reputation with schools in Rotorua.

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