Kia ora team,
We’re nearly ready to go with sign ups for Shoebox Christmas - some of the schools have already sent through their kids ready be allocated to the team! The plan is to have all the schools loaded up and ready to go by June 1st. Then you can start signing up, you'll get your kids details straight away, so you'll be able to get shopping there and then!
In the meantime, let’s talk about the plan for Stationery Starter Packs in 2018.
If you were part of the crew last year, you already know that for a lot of the families in our low decile schools, budgeting for their kid’s first college or intermediate stationery pack is a real struggle. Last year I met some of the kids that this was an inherited reality for. I shared their stories here, you guys agreed we could help out, and we did. We delivered fifty schoolbags full of stationery to the kids identified as having significant difficulty affording what they needed for school.
This year I want the Stationery Starter Packs idea to have a medium/long term benefit for the kids as well as the immediate financial stress relief for their families. So I caught up with some teachers and principals we worked with last year to talk about what behaviour we could incentivise.
The idea we landed on is a programme to encourage reading. We went with reading because there are libraries full of research, (and a country full of teachers), that tell us kids who read more, often achieve better learning and perform better at school.
I've reached out to a couple of groups that run reading programmes and have material we could use, so hopefully, we can piggyback off something that already exists, rather than reinventing the reading wheel.
However we go about it, we're going to pilot the programme at a couple of Porirua schools first. The year 7 kids at those schools will have a goal of a certain number of hours reading time logged throughout the year. I’m no good at algebra, but we’ll call that number 'Z'.
The reading time can be logged at home, or in the school library after school which is already open for the kids to read in.
There will be milestones at X and Y hours of reading done, where they will get rewards and some of their stationery for next year (the school will hold on to these until they reach the end though - since they’re for the following year).
When they get to level 3 (Z hours of reading), they will have 'unlocked' a full stationery pack for next year.
The main objective is still to provide these kids with stationery packs, so the goal will be 100% of the kids achieving the reading hours and backpack, and the teachers will be working just as hard as they always do, to make sure that’s the case. If some of the kids are falling behind, or at risk of not reaching Z hours of reading (and the full stationery pack), the teachers will put in extra work with those kids, just like they already do. We’re not re-inventing the wheel, just sticking a backpack full of financial stress-relief on to the spokes.
I'm keen to hear your thoughts before we kick off.
- Do you think it’s worthwhile?
- And if so, would you donate to help fund the stationery packs?
(Use the Facebook comments section below to let me know please).
Enter your details here if you want me to email you when the project kicks off.
PS if you're not already - follow the Shoebox Christmas Facebook page to stay in the loop and hear the updates first.