Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Keep In Touch Day - Rainbow's End

This is now a yearly event in the diary of all KDEC students in Year 7 and above. The trip started a few years ago as part of the KIT (Keep In Touch) programme just for mainstreamed students visited by Resource Teachers of the Deaf in the Auckland area. About three years ago the trip was opened up to students from our unit provisions and the Transition Department at KDEC, as well as students on Advisors on Deaf Children caseload. We listened to students who came to Sports Day and went one step further – they told us they wanted more than one opportunity to meet with friends they have made.  So this year we had students from the Far North and Whangarei, from Taumarunui, Taupo and the Bay of Plenty join us.

Thursday 13th September was a fabulous day, the weather was just what we had ordered. We all met outside Rainbow’s End – what a sight - almost 150  students, support staff and teachers all catching up with old friends and meeting new people. After a quick welcome we all made our way to the central area and then rushed off to make the most of the day. Some comments from the day...

Chelsea said “It was my first time going on a rollercoaster  ... and my last! I hated the loop. It took me a while to get over the ride. It freaked me out but I really enjoyed my day.

Rhianjuan from KGC  said “It was great fun catching up with my old classmate from Mission Heights, Anushika. I really miss seeing her”.  

Meghan who is mainstreamed at GEIS caught up with her friend Grace from the KIS provision, they raced from ride to ride and had fun catching up.


Tony didn’t know anyone else initially but had lots of fun racing with Mati  on the go-karts and enjoyed sharing an icecream with Michael just before we left. 
Liam spent the day catching up with other friends who are mainstreamed – Michael and Patrick.

It was Shaka and Jarole’s first time at a KIT day and they had a great time getting to know the other teens from Northland, Chakaya, Jordash and Huia. It was an eye-opener to see so many other Deaf / Hearing impaired teens when they got to Rainbow’s End. They were very excited and had a blast! The chatting didn't stop during the long journey home to the North.
If your child is keen to Keep In Touch with their fellow KDEC students, contact their Resource Teacher of the Deaf or their Advisor.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

KDEC Welcomes Mojo Mathers

Mojo Mathers is a Member of Parliament from the Green Party list.  She is New Zealand’s first Deaf Member of Parliament.  On Monday 27 August 2012 it was our privilege to welcome Mojo onto Ruamoko Marae.  As usual our Kaumata, Michael Wi gave very clear instructions about how things are done at Ruamoko.

Dan Te Rupe blew the call on the putarara or conch-shell and Ngawaiata was our whaikaranga.  A small group of KEDC staff and students who had also not yet been called provided whanau support as manuhiri with Mojo

Our Marae was full to bursting with people keen to both welcome and meet Mojo Mathers for the first time.  So many people had assembled that we had to project the powhiri into the wharenui’s office area.

Michael’s whaikorero introduced Mojo to our Marae and frequent use of her sign name ensured the students were clear about the day’s special guest!

Tom Purvis our Head of School, accepted the greeting on behalf of Mojo. 

Mojo and her new whanau added their hands and voices to his waiata. 

Te Aroha, where there is love

Te Whakapono,where there is truth

Me te Rangimarie, there will be peace

Tatou Tatou e, for everyone

Michael always respects the mana of our guests.  He will even find a way to allow women to speak during the powhiri when they are the high ranking manuhiri.  Then it was Mojo’s turn to speak. 

Her speech was colourful – her story is rich in its history, diversity and positive response to the challenges she faces.

At the same time Mojo’s key messages were very much black and white! 

Attitudes have been wrong in the past!

We need to find ways to meet each other for open and honest discussions about a future…

So that Deaf students can aim high!  Deaf students need to be proud of their identity!  Let nothing stand in your way, as you make a positive contribution to the development of our nation!

Mojo was determined to that her message was about Success for All - Every Child!  She proved this by making time to hongi with for EVERY student who was present.

Then it was time for that part of our kawa which is uniquely Ruamoko.  After the hongi… but before the kai… lots of photo opportunities with newest member of whanau Turi!

Our current and future leaders always get their time in front of the flashes of our KDEC paparazzi

We noticed this time that the paparazzi are becoming increasingly high tech!!  Our Board’s investment in information technology clearly being well used.

Papatoetoe High School pupils were particularly pleased to meet Mojo.  They have been using reports of her experience in Parliament to complete ESOL Unit standards in shaping and examining a Point of View.

The final part of any powhiri is thanking our kaiawhina and her team for preparing our food.

It was our pleasure to meet Mojo Mathers.  We are convinced that she is a person who will continue to shape the future of New Zealand with her energy, determination and willingness to share her story.

To see more about Mojo Mathers' visit to KDEC, watch this video

KDEC Sports Day 2012

Over 280 Deaf and Hearing Impaired students attended the 7th annual Sports Day at the Trusts Stadium in Henderson, Auckland on 15th March. The students who attended were from Auckland, Northland, Waikato and the Bay of Plenty - the whole KDEC region. We fortunately had fantastic weather that day. 

The students participated in various athletics events such as sprint, discus, long jump, high jump, shotput, tug of war, and fun activities for the younger students. They had a fantastic time with a brilliant atmosphere. I could see the Deaf students enjoyed their time on this day.

Some Deaf and Hearing Impaired students were proud when they won prizes from their events, however everyone did try their best and for that they should be proud too. Keep giving your best everyone, and your potential to improve is there.

It is important for Deaf students to have the opportunities to gain confidence, social skills, take part in activities and make new friends, and Sports Day is one opportunity for this. The students were so excited, with some being nervous about the competition. From my perspective this allows them to develop their skills of socialising and physical activity.
I encourage all students to dream. Some students are already striving to participate in the NZ Deaf Games, and represent New Zealand at Deaflympics or World Championships.

Daniel Greenwood