Movin' to Maungaraki

When teacher Rebecca Renfrew posed this question to her Yr 3-4 class, “What could we do to help others be more active?” she didn’t expect a visionary response. One child said, “We could lead by example, walk every day and show everyone how much fun it is.” To that end, the class created signs to encourage children of all ages to get involved. The school took to the Movin’ March challenge wholeheartedly, with large numbers of new families joining in with the dedicated core group who always walk, scoot or bike to the school nestled high on a Lower Hutt hillside. One family, who had previously driven their young son a block from home to the school gate, started biking together instead, to get that passport stamped. It didn’t take long for the habit to stick and that young lad now continues to ride every day, with mum walking alongside. Parent Debbie Carter supervised road patrol during the event and noted a big reduction in traffic congestion around the school and shopping centre, which made the area much safer for the children. She’d like to see that trend continue, “Walking in groups would be a wonderful way for the children to make new friends and get to know other kids they already know, even better. Parents too can develop better relationships with other children and their parents.” Debbie says the exercise not only helps students’ mental health and well-being, it has benefits in the classroom too. “Happier, clear-headed students are great for our teachers.”