Posted: 3 August 2013
So often, well-meaning organisations, or Governments even, decide that they want to help in various ways within their communities. And sometimes their help is inappropriate and doesn’t address actual need.
So Plimmerton Rotary came up with an idea called ‘Grant a Wish’, specifically for low decile primary schools in Porirua. It started in 2010 and a budget of $5,000 was set aside from funds that had been raised by the Club. Seeing the need, this sum was increased to $6,000 in 2011, and is $10,000 for this Rotary year.
Low decile schools are invited to submit their wish list for projects costing $1,000, $2,000 and $3,000 as well as for projects involving hands-on assistance which may not actually incur a cost. It’s sad that Plimmerton Rotary is unable to respond to every wish and find it difficult to make choices, but every little helps. Careful records are kept to ensure that all decile one and two primary schools in our area get a ‘fair go’.
The projects costing money can be for anything at all including, for example, sports equipment, playground equipment, digital technology, library books, children's project materials, money for school trips for children who otherwise wouldn't get to participate, curtains for a classroom, the building of vegetable plots where children can grow their own veges - anything at all in fact. The hands-on assistance can be for things as simple as helping to make curtains or developing garden plots for the children to use.
Invitations to apply for grants go out in February each year. Last year wishes were granted for four schools. Brandon School asked for combination nets, portable nets that can be raised or lowered so that they can be used for tennis, volleyball, badminton, etc.
Holy Family school were granted five tablet computers.
Maraeroa School asked for a crash pad, a thick pad that stops children from hurting themselves when they use equipment in the gym and land awkwardly. And Natone Park asked for uniforms for their sports teams.
Assistance is currently being given to Maraeroa School where we are working on the safe design of a basketball hoop.
Two years ago, sports uniforms were provided to Cannons Creek School. The students showed their appreciation by performing on the catwalk, each holding a different item of sporting equipment.
And in the same year, six of our Rotarians, together with one of the fathers, rebuilt the seating around the playground at Glenview School which had become warped and splintered. They made a huge improvement.
So wishes can be granted and the community can benefit in ways they have chosen for themselves.