'Aspire' the Future Generation


After another unpredictable and challenging year, many Kiwi kids looking forward to returning to school and reuniting with their peers. As exciting at this is, heading back to school can be challenging for families.

At the start of the school year, kids often require new uniforms, stationery, school bags and other supplies to prepare for successful learning. It can be difficult for families to afford it all, especially when they have more than one school aged child to provide for.

Some children arrive back at school without the equipment they need to learn. Principal of Glendene School, Sepora Mauigoa, says “it effects their learning because they come to school, they see everyone else is ready to learn and they don’t have those resources, so there’s lack of confidence, they’ll hide, and they may not want to come to school.”

The Salvation Army supports families with uniform grants, vouchers for stationery, and vouchers or no interest loans for devices so their children can start off the year in confidence. This is only possible due to the generosity of donations from people like you.

It makes a huge difference when children return to school with everything they need to learn. Sepora says, “their learning is transformed when they have all the equipment because they are ready to learn, they are confident, they get on with their peers and they are happy”.

“For families, if all the stationery is paid for its just a huge relief. Our school has no school fees, but you can tell if there’s any financial support after the holidays families are rapt.”

Navigating a new world of distanced learning and isolation has been tough on students and impacted their routines for 2 years. Learning has been challenging and some students became partially or completely disengaged. Social worker, Billy, from Rolleston College says, “This year is going to be really difficult for students. Coming back to school after two years of disrupted education will be hard.”

The Salvation Army runs a program called Aspire which is designed to help students transition from their first year of high school to Year 10, and to develop the skills, confidence, knowledge, and networks they need to successfully address challenges and achieve their goals. This year’s program will be particularly important for Year 10 students who experienced their first year of high school in lockdown.

Billy shared, “parents rave about the aspire program, The Salvation Army comes out of nowhere offering to coach their children and it doesn’t cost them a cent.” Billy sees the real success of the aspire program in students, who were expected to drop out, choosing to stay at school and continue their education in year 11 and beyond.

Families who need help are encouraged to drop into their local Salvation Army centre to discuss their needs. The support The Salvation Army provides school children isn’t possible without the generous support of people like you.

To make a meaningful difference to children going back to school this year, you can choose a Gift of Hope and support our Back to School Appeal. Click here to donate now.