Catchup Literacy Camp for At-Risk Teenagers
These camps give hope of a future and a job to the boys, giving them back their dignity and confidence. Help us to help them.Waikato
The Rural Youth & Adult Literacy Trust is running a series of three camps for teenagers whose lives have been made miserable because they have trouble with reading and writing. The 17 teenagers who attended our April camp are due to come back in July and October but we have not been able to get funding to run the second camp.
The teenage boys will be in groups of 5-7 with an experienced literacy tutor and at least one volunteer literacy group helper, usually two.This enables the boys to be get the benefit of group dynamics but to get one-to-one help when they need it. At the last camp our volunteers were primary school teachers, locals who had helped at the Port Waikato homework club, or our own volunteer coaches.
As well as this, the boys are signed onto the Trust's online literacy practice software, and they practice with it while they are at camp, so that when they go back to school they can keep getting support from the Trust. The software records successes and difficulties, giving an objective measure of progress over time.
The Trust urgently needs help to fund the second camp of three that it is due to run in July. If the funding is not in place by the end of the first week in June, then the camp will have to be cancelled. This means the third camp will not be able to be run either, as each camp builds on the one before it.
Volunteers will be helping with driving, literacy groups, outdoor activities and with supervising the boys in their free time.
The camp is run at the Port Waikato School Camp and caters for teenagers from all around the Waikato/Hauraki region.
Feedback about the first camp, from a teacher from one of their schools:
"I had the privilege of visiting the students at the camp. It was thrilling to see relaxed, engaged students actively learning. They were highly motivated and have spoken repeatedly about returning to camp once they returned to school. I look forward to seeing their written work by the end of the third camp and expect success in gaining the credits that they are working hard for. There is no possible way in which the families could have provided the funding required to ensure that the camp operated."
Another school reported that the kids were still fizzing about the camp weeks later and had come back with more confidence and feeling like they were able to give things a go.
ANZ Staff Foundation has generously funded the outdoor activities the youngsters do at the camp. The activities encourage the teenagers to attend, give them something interesting to read or write about and help them get rid of some of their pent-up energy. They also help kids who might be ridiculed by peers for attending by giving them 'cover'. At the second camp they will be riding BMX bikes and learning how to repair punctures, etc, and abseiling and orienteering. Mud-rugby was so popular at the last camp that it looks like being a permanent event at camp.
To cover the costs of camp the ALRT needs money to pay tutors, camp accommodation, food, caterers, van hire (we pick them up and drop them off), volunteer mileage to the camp (some come from the Coromandel, Hamilton and Auckland to Port Waikato to help at the camp), a night security guard, and a camp manager.
If we don't raise enough to run the camp in July, then the October camp will be cancelled too, as the camps build on each other. If this happens, then donations will be used to continue supporting NZ teenagers who have literacy problems, in particular the teenagers who attended the first camp.
Free help for isolated rural adults and teenagers who have trouble with reading and writing.
Use of funds
Funds will be used as listed above: to pay camp costs. If we get more than the $15,000 we need, the money will go towards the third camp.
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Thank you for your generous donations to our givealittle campaign. Although it didn't look like a lot was raised, every single bit helped. Many people offered food or their time for free and at the eleventh hour, when the Trust still needed another $6000 for the camp and was about to cancel it, the Lions group Heads Up for Kids donated that $6000.
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This page was created on 16 May 2018 and closed on 11 Jun 2018.