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Children's helpfulness gets recognised

By JUDITH LACY - Tribune | Sunday, 28 September 2008

You're never too young to be a good neighbour.

It's a philosophy the Junior Neighbourhood Support programme aims to instill in primary and intermediate pupils.

This week, the helpfulness and awareness of 59 Manawatu children at Linton Camp, Somerset Crescent, Cloverlea Primary and Russell Street schools were recognised with awards.

Somerset Crescent in Palmerston North joined the programme in term two last year, with children encouraged to display honesty with found items, help those in need, look after school property and learn about civil defence preparations.

Ten students were supreme winners this term: Chontelle Rangihika, ViTtory J Meafua-Siafolau, Maysen Keefe, Rukuata Horua-Cribb, Alexander O'Rourke, Tungane Main-More, Amber Puanaki-Hughes, Wendy Jenkins, Teisa Laumape and Melissa Infield.

They each received a backpack, drink bottle, ruler and whistle/torch/keyring, plus a framed certificate.

Ten Somerset students also received runner-up awards.

At the end of the year, two students from the four participating schools will be selected for The Big Adventure, an overseas trip.

Chontelle, 10, does many jobs for a widow who lives nearby and keeps an eye out for her, including when she'd accidently left her lawnmower out.

In a letter to the school, the woman wrote: ``I am very lucky to have her in my life.''

Chontelle also reported a shoplifter.

On Tuesday, representatives from Palmerston North Neighbourhood Support, police and Emergency Management were welcomed to Somerset with two waiata and a haka from the school's senior kapa hapa group.

It was the school's first assembly in its repaired hall following a partial roof collapse earlier this year.

A nationwide programme, Junior Neighbourhood Support was successfully piloted in Palmersto North last year. It's designed to promote a sense of pride, safety and community spirit in children and the wider school community.


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