Ōtaki College News March 2016

R_college_rightR_College-top-rightFrom the Principal

Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi engari he toa takitini.
My valour is not that of the individual but that of the multitude.

Students contributing to their community

The Rotary Interact Group at Ōtaki College has been working at full throttle since its inception at the beginning of 2015. The group currently consists of 22 students, led by Ashleigh Stevenson, who have been working with the local Ōtaki Rotary Group to raise money for various causes. They supported the 2015 “Fill the Stores – Christmas for Everyone” project and their most recent endeavour has been “Relay for Life”.

BBQ and Bake Sale Fundraiser
BBQ and Bake Sale Fundraiser

The students have also been working on a project since the start of 2015 to raise funds in order to send a ‘shelter-box’ overseas. The purpose of a shelter-box is to provide emergency shelter and lifesaving supplies for families around the world who are affected by disasters, at a time when they need it the most. The Group is hoping to have contributed at least one shelter-box by the end of this year.

The Group’s fundraising activities have included a highly successful Quiz Night which raised over $1,000 and a number of other activities including mufti days, a movie fundraiser, bake sales and cooking nights.

Their latest project “Relay for Life” provided both the opportunity to raise funds for the Cancer Society and to share their feelings about the effects of this appalling disease with other supporters from around the country.

What can whanau/parents do?

While our students are busy participating in activities that make a positive difference parents can also do a number of positive things to support their children and other students in the College. This can range from supporting your children through regular checks on the Ōtaki College portal to monitor progress, helping provide transport, attending college meetings, making sure that homework/study are completed and uniform is kept clean and tidy.

To become involved in a wider college community and support your own and other students we would strongly encourage you to consider helping by:

  • Considering nomination for the upcoming BOT Election
  • Joining the Home and School Committee who work very hard to fundraise for items and the events that the College would not normally be able to fund. There will be a schedule of meetings going up on the website soon.
  • Coming to Te Kahui Matua hui. Te Kahui Matua is designed for whanau members to get involved to support the ongoing development of kaupapa Māori initiatives in the college and to set targets around Māori achievement. We encourage whanau to get involved through attendance at Te Kahui Matua hui. The first hui of 2016 is to be held on Tuesday 5th April 6.00 pm in the staff room to discuss;
  • Meeting new kaiako – Whaea Melody Haira
  • Supporting Tu Rangatira Māori leadership Wananga
  • Fundraising to complete Te Whare Hui extension project
  • BOT elections
  • XOTAKI Alumni Association — join this group that supports the college and make links to others that you went through college with doing the same thing.

We look forward to your involvement and support as we continue on through the year

Andy Fraser, Principal

Relay for Life

Kelsi McArley, Rosana Kata and Telesia Nelson-Latu at Relay for Life
Kelsi McArley, Rosana Kata and Telesia Nelson-Latu at Relay for Life

On the 12th and 13th March 3 teachers and 22 Ōtaki College Rotary Interact students headed to Palmerston North to participate in the Relay for Life event held at Hokowhitu Campus. Relay for Life is an event which runs for 24 hours. Teams must carry a baton around a 400 metre track for this 24 hour period. The idea behind this is that cancer never sleeps.

College co-ordinator, Lisa Grant, said “students have worked extremely hard over the past three weeks to raise money to go towards this cause. They have given up their time to volunteer at the Kite Festival, sought donations from local businesses after school, run bake sales and found their own time to ask people to sponsor them for this event. The students’ efforts saw them raise $2700 to donate to the Cancer Society. They can be very proud of their hard-work and dedication towards the cause.”

The first lap of the relay was for survivors of cancer. Over 100 people lined up for this lap wearing a sash (denoting beating cancer) and walked the first lap whilst supporters stood on the side. Once this lap was completed, all teams got on the track and walked a lap together. The College team had chosen “fairies” as their theme so there were 25 fairies prancing around the track at once. To prevent exhaustion, the team set up a roster of one hour shifts, in order to last the 24 hours carrying the baton. Students participated extremely well and ended up walking 290 laps which equated to 116km (the distance from Ōtaki to Wanganui).

Sadly, last year, Ōtaki College had to farewell a well-respected staff member, Bruce Anderson, who lost his battle to cancer. ‘Relay for Life’ was a great way for students to acknowledge what an inspiration Mr Anderson was for them. There was a wall of remembrance on which many students wrote about Bruce and there was also a candlelight ceremony. The team bought a candle for Bruce and placed it in a bag which, at dusk, was put on the side of the track for the remainder of the night. This event was definitely an eye-opener for many students involved and was also close to home for some.

Ōtaki College would like to thank the Ōtaki Rotary Club for their support in getting students to this event and their kind sponsorship towards our fundraising.