Scholars promote feel-good factor

by Rebecca Doyle

Rural wellbeing was the focus of a recent event at Hororata Primary School, with a group of Lincoln University Future Leader scholars running a series of activities that aimed to bring children and their families together.

The Future Leader Scholarship Programme involves teaching leadership skills to exceptional Lincoln students. The scholars take part in clubs, committees and group projects throughout each university year.

Hororata School hosted several learning sessions relating to topics such as technology, healthy eating and being sun smart, which took place alongside the scholars’ more hands-on activities.

Future Leader scholar, Paige Harris, said the pupils’ families were invited to attend the event. 

“The idea was to begin creating habits that would make each family unit stronger and encourage them to appreciate the simple things in life,” Paige said.

“We wanted to let rural families know they shouldn’t feel guilty about taking time off, despite the busy period at the moment with calving and lambing.

“In fact, it’s important to take time off in order to be able to work to a high standard throughout the whole season.”

The scholars’ message about rural wellbeing also involved ease of access to resources if needed, with Farmstrong and the Mental Health Foundation providing supplies for some of the activities. Paige said the event was designed to align with five key strategies for promoting physiological wellbeing: be active, take notice, keep learning, give and connect.

Pupils made cards to give to people they loved, (which corresponded to the strategies of connect and take notice), participated in a gumboot throw (be active), took a quiz (keep learning) and painted a picture representing their idea of what giving looked like.

They also wrote in chalk on a wall to produce a list of the things they most appreciate in life.

“The I Appreciate wall was a huge hit with the kids. Some examples of what they wrote on it were friends, family, pets, farming, hunting, rugby, learning and duck shooting,” Paige said.

“One kid even mentioned their John Deere tractor, which made us laugh.”

The scholars also ran several competitions in the lead-up to the event “to show families that it only takes a couple of hours to do a fun activity at home”. “There was a baking competition for dads, a sculpture competition for mums and a family photo shoot, which they worked on in the lead-up to the event.”

The winners received a wide range of donated prizes at the end of the day.