Life Education Trust celebrates 25 years

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Celebrations . . . Looking forward to celebrating the Life Education Trust's anniversary are (from left) trust Coastal Otago adviser Murray Harris, chairwoman Aileen Winmill and educator Maria Sinclair (with Harold). PHOTO: JESSICA WILSON

Technology may have changed in the past 25 years, but the Life Education Trust’s values have remained the same.

The Coastal Otago Trust is set to celebrate its silver anniversary of educating and inspiring children to embrace positive choices for a healthy mind and body.

Educator Maria Sinclair and Harold the giraffe visit about 6500 children, from kindergarten to year 8, in a mobile classroom each year.

She said although technology had developed rapidly in the past 25 years, the trust’s core values remained the same: to teach children to treat each other with kindness and respect.

around the children” and, therefore, their needs had changed, she said.

The mobile classroom was a “fully-immersive environment” which allowed her to teach using different video clips, lights and colours.

The programmes taught are adapted to the children’s age, and what they are learning at the time.

“Every class is catered for.”

Year 5 and year 6 pupils can also take part in the Small Changes Whanau Challenge, which encourages families to have fun doing something small every day to improve their health and wellbeing while spending time together.

Trust adviser Murray Harris, who has been involved in the trust since it started, was proud to see the first mobile classroom built in 1995 with funding from the Trust Bank Otago Community Trust (now Otago Community Trust) and Alexander McMillan Trust.

“The key to the Life Education Trust throughout New Zealand [is] . . . we have specifically not wanted to get Government funding.

“If we raise the money then we can control its destiny.”