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Cops recruit Castlecliff kids

04.02.2009
by Lin Ferguson

A radical new programme will see local youngsters lead the charge against crime.

Castlecliff and Tawhero school children are about to become role models in their communities with the launch of a new programme, Junior Neighbourhood Support.

The two schools were chosen because they are decile one - located in low socio-economic areas.

A junior version of the community-owned programme Neighbourhood Support, the new $12,000 programme works alongside the police to help reduce crime in streets, neighbourhoods and communities. The youngsters' programme is a joint venture between police, the Fire Service and Wanganui North and Rotary Clubs of Wanganui and will be launched on Monday, Community policing area co-ordinator Janet Worfolk said yesterday.

It was an initiative about good behaviour and attitude with rewards for showing respect for one another and their teachers. It was about reporting bullying, graffiti and tagging in their neighbourhoods.

And the "fire wise" safety message would be pushed home and kids would also be encouraged to do volunteer work in their communities, she said.

Castlecliff School principal Craig Sharp said children in Castlecliff, like children everywhere, picked up on everything and they all knew exactly what was going on in their neighbourhoods.

Even though he was very happy to have his school chosen, "we practise good behaviours and respect for one another every day here."

"But if a community initiative wants to come into this school and reward the kids for good discipline and behaviour, that's absolutely fine by me.

"And if they want to give us things as well, then great, it levels the field a bit with the higher-decile schools.

"We have a great school. Our students know about having respect for each other and pride in their school - so it's a bit of a bit of no-brainer here. We have a reward system here too. We give our students books for good work and good behaviour."

Kalani Matthews, 10, said Castlecliff School was already a great school.

"But, yeah, the programme will be good too."

Chenara Clare, 10, and Tuupuhi Karaitiana, 10, said they thought Junior Neighbourhood Support was a good idea.

"But it's really good here already. We have good teachers and we like our school."

Tawhero School principal Chris Dibben said he believed the programme would reinforce for his students that anyone can be a leader.

"We're big on leadership skills here with our kids. It's all about setting examples."

At the end of each term 20 children from both schools will be rewarded for making a difference in their own lives, the lives of their families, the school and their community.

At the end of the year five children will be chosen as the ones who have made the biggest difference, and they will win a trip to the ultimate in kid's entertainment and amusement parks - Rainbows End in Auckland - for the day.

Source: http://www.wanganuichronicle.co.nz/localnews/storydisplay.cfm?storyid=3794519

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