Otago Community Trust was pleased to announce in late February that it had approved a $500,000 grant to support the Big River Cluster of schools across South Otago over the next three years.
Led by Clutha Valley Primary School, the Learning Impact Fund grant will benefit a total of eighteen schools and four kindergartens located in the South Otago area. It is anticipated that the funding will benefit close to 2000 learners from early childhood through to secondary.
The grant was awarded in late December 2019, but the South Otago Principals Association used the holiday break to postpone the announcement while it planned how best to use the resources.
‘‘The funding will enable all schools and kindergartens to work collaboratively to provide a range of learning experiences,’’ Clutha Valley School principal Val Ward said.
The first year of the project would involve buying technological resources and would provide staff with professional development.
The training would involve a visiting mentor to the schools, and day-long workshops with 19 selected lead staff members would also be provided periodically.
Those staff would take the knowledge back to their schools to teach the other staff and students.
‘‘Over the next three years, through using technology our students will gain the knowledge and skills needed to help develop initiatives alongside industries and organisations in our local community.’’