SHARE

ALEXIA.JOHNSTON

@alliedpress.co.nz

Harold the giraffe is still on tour thanks to his group of supporters who provide financial backing.

On Monday it was Omakau School’s turn to be hosted by the popular giraffe, on board his mobile classroom, where he teaches children about making healthy choices.

The visit is partly funded by the Life Education Trust.

However, this time round the Cambrian-St Bathans branch of Rural Women New Zealand met the shortfall of about $4 per child – a total of about $280.

Life Education Heartland Otago Southland vice-chairwoman Gill Naylor said Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) had been involved with the trust at a regional level for many years.

As part of that, various branches supported their local Life Education Trust financially.

“[The trust] charges the schools a nominal amount but it costs us quite a bit more to cover the programme. The shortfall of what we charge the schools and what it costs us – that’s what we need fundraising for.”

It was that shortfall that the local branch of RWNZ covered this time around.

Mrs Naylor is a member of the Cambrian-St Bathans branch of RWNZ and is also on the national board of the organisation.

“We have been involved with Life Education since its inception, generally,” she said, of the local branch, which has about 14 members.

The branch is also a member of the Heartland Harold Club, which means it has an ongoing sponsorship agreement.

“That’s what it’s about – having groups and businesses to continually sponsor the programme.”

Mrs Naylor said the trust “strives” to get to all of the district’s schools – “even the smallest ones”.

“We really strive to do that because we appreciate it’s not always easy to get to other places. The schools can select what part of the programme they want. It’s varied and the lessons are tailored for each class,” she said.

“The educator gets in touch with the teachers and discusses what they would like covered and she adjusts her programme accordingly.”

is or how the programme is structured, one thing is guaranteed – Harold will always make an appearance.

Educator Pip Tisdall said children from years 0-8 benefited from the visits.

No matter what topic was chosen, Harold was always what the children enjoyed the most.

“I think one of the bigger things is the children love the relationship they build with Harold and they love the environment with all the technology.”