Our Stories

 

FEBRUARY 2017

 

Next Step Training - Prison Delivery

One of the learners came in for his first class at Step Up. He was agitated, angry and not keen to be involved. The tutor had a chat with him and found out he was keen to transfer to grounds work. We talked about how the work in the Step Up class would be helpful for him to achieve his goal of getting into the grounds crew. This seemed to make sense to him and he started focussing on the study work. As he was making good progress through the course, he expressed an interest in the air force as a career but then laughed it away as he said they won’t take someone with a conviction. The tutor and he investigated this a little further and discovered that his conviction might not be a problem. The learners finished the course work strongly with a really positive outlook attitude and plan going forward from here.

 

Brief Drink Driving Programme

Delivery Feb 18 in Gore. A very responsive group who were happy to take part in all activities. They particularly enjoyed using the booze goggles, and were keen to carry on trying them out during breaks. Only one did not use the booze goggles as he had a hangover and did not want them to make him sick. They were engaged in the card and board games and there were good discussions during the brain storming sessions. Feedback from the participants - "Thank you for giving insight into drink driving, it has been a learning day" Joy has been very educational in all aspects in regards to the possible outcomes of the consequences of drink driving. The goggles definitely were an eye opener to the possibility of what could it look like if you were drunk, but from a sober perspective." "I have learnt a lot about the effects of alcohol and drink driving. Great course to take."

 

Client Support Workers

A Mum presented at the office wanting to know where she can get help for her young teenage son who she had found out had just started using drugs. Mum was beside herself and was unsure of what to do and was looking for some advice. The Mum was a conscientious parent who didn’t want her son to go down the wrong path. We discussed options Mum could take and these included informing the other teenagers’ parents and talking to the local Policeman. Mum was also made aware of an age appropriate counselling service that specialised in Drugs and Alcohol. Mum asked if she could be referred to this. As we were talking the Counsellor arrived in the building and Mum was able to make an appointment directly with the Counsellor. Mum was happy she stopped into the office as she wasn’t sure if we could help. She was pleased to have a got some immediate help and had a plan to talk with her son, talk with the parents of the teenagers. Mum was also going to talk with the local Policeman as she felt it was a growing concern for the youth in her area. Mum scored high on her PCOMS as she was happy with the outcome and felt good knowing she had a plan and had accessed some support.

 

Take 10 Streets

The Library Action Group has become really fired up with another two meetings. At the first meeting the group leader announced she had resurrected a South Dunedin Library Facebook page, “People for a South Dunedin Library”, and would be inviting all council members to join. A petition has also been designed and will be being circulated at the Buskers Festival on the 25th February. There was also talk about approaching PaknSave about setting up a table to collect signatures. A poster has been designed to be put on lamp posts within South Dunedin, shop windows and anywhere else the ladies could think of, to highlight awareness of the group’s existence, contact details and the next scheduled meeting in the hope of gaining some new members/support. Discussion also started around putting in a submission to the council by May 2017. DCC Councillors Marie Laufiso and Rachel Elder came to lend their support to the Library Group at the second meeting; they had seen the poster in a café. They were able to tell the group what was happening from a council perspective. They have also offered to help the group with their submission to the Council and have recommended approaching Sue Bidrose about presenting at the next council meeting. It was also decided local schools were also going to be approached to put something in their newsletters and running a competition for the children about what they would like their local Library to look like and things they would like to see happening in it – prizes to be sourced from local businesses. Rachel told the group of plans for a trial ‘Pop up Library’ and it was felt the competition entries should be displayed there for residents to see. Another group member talked of contacting the Star newspaper for that same purpose and about forwarding an article to the new South Dunedin Community News Letter “The Lowdown”.

 

Little Citizens Kiwi Room

Recently we have been exploring Sea Week in the Kiwi Room, particularly through music. At mat times Erin has been teaching us a new action song called “Kei roto i te Moana”. It is great for Anna to be learning a new song with and alongside the children, repeating it and practicing it. It is a wonderful song because it draws parallels (through familiar words such as moana and wheke) to the very popular “Kina Kina” which we sing every day at mat times, just before kai time. The song includes actions, reinforcing children’s learning with a visual, which we are practicing in the Kiwi Room through increased use of sign language, which Erin is also teaching us. It was fascinating today at mat time watching one of our Under Twos attempting to sign our Welcoming/Naming song herself, without Erin’s guidance. Through this waiata the children are experiencing te reo and Maori myths. The last line of the song “Kei roto i te Moana” says “He Taniwha!” and we all make big scary faces – they love it and laugh and giggle at all our scary taniwha faces! We are having such fun and learning so much through music, which is a particular teaching focus in the Kiwi Room, strengthening the children’s engagement in a group, ability to sit still and focus, and verbal language.

 

Little Citizens Kotuku Room

The children and teachers in the kotuku group have been working on building a classroom environment where children understand how their words and actions affect others. They have been doing this through using the metaphor of an invisible bucket which everyone carries with them. When we are happy and feel good about ourselves out bucket is full. But when we are sad and don't feel good about ourselves out bucket is empty. We can choose to fill up our own bucket and others buckets by being kind, saying positive things, listening and being helpful as when we do these things for others then we feel good. Or we can be bucket fillers by making others feel sad.

As a class we decide that we wanted to be a class of bucket fillers so we revisit this each mat time where we discuss how and what we have done to fill out class bucket then place pompoms in a bucket so that the children can see how we are doing. We also discuss what we have seen that means someone has dipped or taken from our class bucket and pom poms are removed accordingly. Once our bucket is full we are going to have a celebration of our success to being a bucket filling class. So far our conversations have seen children talking openly and positively about our goal where they refer to how others actions make them feel and they refer to their bucket particularly when someone is dipping it. I'm order to help build the children's resilience to how others make them feel we discussed how you can put your lid on your bucket and not let other people's words and actions make you feel sad. This too has begun to trickle through in the playground where a 4 year old came up to me and said that they had been pushed by another child, when I asked who they said it's ok Kylie I put my lid on my bucket so they couldn't dip out of it before walking off smiling and feeling very proud of themselves.

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