The Taranaki Life Education Trust is an independent charitable trust teaching life skills to children in the region. Using two interactive mobile classrooms, the educators visit local schools and teach life education to children from year 1- 8.
"We support children to develop life skills, to make healthy choices, to gain knowledge about health and their bodies, and to develop self esteem and strategies for relating to one another;' said Jacinta Hurley, Vice Chairperson.
Before going into a school, the Educators meet with the classroom teachers to decide the focus and develop a tailored programme.
"Our Educators are trained and registered teachers. Our challenge is having sufficient funds to be able to attract the best teachers who want to come and work with us when they know there's no government funding."
"We usually have a major fund raiser during the year. With Covid, we had to cancel a major gala dinner. We also get support from the New Plymouth District Council and contributions from local businesses in the community," Jacinta said.
A grant of $50k from Toi Foundation gave Taranaki Life Education a sound financial base to provide the programme to schools in 2021.
"The Toi Foundation has been the most significant contributor to our funding. We've had $50k in grants from them for the last 3 years. It has been the security of that money that makes us feel confident in terms of the continued employment of our educators:'
"The pandemic accelerated the anxiety and stress that some children felt. Schools have reached out to us to provide support and programmes to help the children cope with anxiety."
"A lot of our programme is about resilience and how you cope with stressful situations and we felt good about what we could provide to the schools."
"Despite the challenges of Covid, we went into 77 schools last year, and we saw over 10,000 kids in Taranaki,'' Jacinta said.