Well, our pilot programme has now concluded with an amazing outcome for all. Towards the end of last year, Computers in Homes teamed up with Spark, Te Awakairangi Access Trust, Hutt City Council & Taita Clubhouse to provide students and parents with digital engagement over the summer break.
The project was undertaken by Rachel Williams in 2015/2016 within the Manaiakalani Cluster. The purpose of the programme was to keep students engaged in literacy over the summer break, as recent known studies show that literacy levels drop over Christmas/New Years. The programme had 20 students throughout the Hutt Valley participate through blogging over the summer break. Students were to select 1 out of 6 countries to blog about via the Taka Trust Blog Stream to research and answer weekly activities.
This was the first time Computers in Homes Wellington/Hutt had teamed up with many different organisations, which was an amazing challenge and very beneficial to the kaupapa.
TAKA Trust & Hutt City Council - utilized the blogging project so that they could present to Hutt City Council - Digital Access is a necessity within the Hutt City, not a luxury. Working alongside Joani Araiti was amazing as she was tuturu ki te kaupapa and did the behind scenes mahi to get the project up and running.
Spark - Lisa Paraku worked alongside 20/20 Trust to roll out the new initiative Spark Jump, which provides wireless internet connectivity through the a 4G Spark Tower. Where there is Spark Cellphone coverage, the modems provided to the whanau should have access. Unfortunately in some areas within the Hutt Valley, coverage was not accessible through this option, however, some whanau were able to utilize the free prepaid 30G data that 20/20 sponsored over the summer break
Taita Clubhouse - Tom Johnson was an amazing person to work with and so was the Taita Clubhouse. The Clubhouse was a safe space for Rangatahi to check in and do their blogging when they needed to. The Clubhouse also offered other activities for the Rangatahi if they needed a break from blogging, which was majority of all visits. Tom monitored the blog site and managed the registration process for rangatahi to have access to posting up their research. One of the comments I had received from the Rangatahi was "I only go because Tom makes it fun there. He's a crack up!". I felt that without Tom's engagement with Rangatahi, the opportunity to stay connect to the kaupapa may have been lost. The Clubhouse gave the Rangatahi and parents an extra space to complete their learning with the added support of staff. The Clubhouse also hosted the parents of the rangatahi, who participated in Computers in Homes.
Computers in Homes - As the rangatahi were becoming engaged in digital literacy, we needed to make sure the parents were on the same page as their tamariki. We hosted 13 classes over the break - 1 at Avalon Intermediate, 2 at Naenae Library and 10 at Taita Clubhouse. As the times didn't suite, we became flexible in how the classes were delivered. Patrick would run the regular sessions for all the whanau who could attend at Taita Clubhouse and I ran sessions outside of the learning hours - Saturdays after rangatahi sports, Sundays whilst Rangatahi were off training. This was a first, however, it is what you do when you believe in the kaupapa.
Overall, we graduated 13 Rangatahi in the Summer Learning Journey programme and 13 Parents in Computers in Homes.
One of the other factors that kept our rangatahi engaged on the programme beside "Them wanting to excel in their literacy" was, we held a competition for most blog posts, comments and interaction online. The TAKA Trust had donated a Mac Airbook - which was won by Tapaki Togiatau for most blogs posted over the summmer break. Aroha mai, we have no photo as yet as this device is still yet to be awarded to him.
And the second prize was donated by the 20/20 Trust which was won by Pheonix Allan.
Below are some great photos of the graduation: