Wednesday, 8 February 2017

#Volunteering at PASS ~ I'm Back Home, New Zealand


Since coming home I have enrolled in Waikato University for their Graduate Teaching Diploma (in Secondary) and tried my best to get into some more volunteer teaching roles. (View my previous posts on Volunteering in the Cook Islands, here). With school only starting a week ago it has only recently become a possibility to take part.

Moreover, I was really lucky to attend the opening ceremony and pōwhiri at PASS - Pacific Advanced Senior School in Otahuhu, last Monday. During the ceremony new and old students were welcomed and an inspiring speech by well known All Black legend Michael Jones boomed in the small school's hall. It was a great moment to be apart of, a for Pasifika by Pasifika school - the first of its kind in New Zealand. Very cool, very meaningful. Later that day we headed off to Henderson where the school camp commenced.

Due to some unfortunate health issues I wasn't able to participate in the entire camp but did help mum run a day of drama games and other activities during camp day 2. It was a nice experience meeting some of the students of the school and getting a feel of the school's very Pasifika, Christian values and routines.

A job I helped with most however was outside of camp. I was asked to revamp and design the 2 front walls of the school lobby/hall as they were needing a little more pizzazz. I could kick myself for not having before photos!!! But if you can imagine, they were just purple walls with some photos in frames before and I added the rest - with help from (tall and good for hanging things up high) sister/cousin Chloe and Mum of course. The photos are actually of influential and successful Pasifika People from NZ and around the globe - this was such a cool idea, not mine but from the secretary - I have just spruced it up.

Here are our 2 walls!

We rearranged all the frames and instead of mixing white and black frames I chose to do an all black frame wall and then the other wall had all the other white and metallic coloured frames. This added instant structure and order. Then I bought some metres of island fabric from one of the many island fabric stores in Otahuhu. $8 a metre from Lucky Star. Then, after nailing the fabric to the wall, we added a wooden boarder which I got from spotlight, they sell wood boards for any sort of craft project, I simply painted them and joined them together to frame the top of the fabric. This fabric boarder instantly added character to the wall and made the frames stand out more as there was less surface area to hang the frames, so the wall didn't swallow the photos up like before.
As you can see, we painted and put up some wooden words - inspiring words to relate to the photos of inspiring Pasfika people! We also used a few flower stickers to cover up old nail/hook holes!

And for another more functional wall, we did a display of camp photos as well as a bunch of clip boards (I love Warehouse Stationery!) that feature 'Word of the week', 'Quote of the Week', 'Bible Verse' and 'Bible Verse translated to Samoan' - the language of translation will change every month to a different Pasifika (Polynesian) tongue. These clipboards will be changed regularly. I love the idea of the clipboard and quote/word of the week - I hope to one day implement this in my classroom when I am full time teaching again! Feel free to click to enlarge these pictures, to get a better, closer look!

If you are about to decorate some of your school walls in NZ, I recommend Spotlight for the wooden words and mats, Warehouse Stationery for the clipboards and more! 

Happy Teaching and Decorating!