Stories

This Story Page is where Once Upon A Time will feature our success stories, the children we have helped and the teachers we have made smile












FIRST WISH GRANTED

It will be left up because Karen needed two games for her Classroom 

Karen Wadley        Hamilton West School  

My wish is for an Educational Game   

The dice clattered across the board accompanied by a holler of delight. Laughter and groans combined happily together and four little heads stared intently at a red token advancing rapidly across the continent of Africa.   
Karen looked on contentedly. She wanted more of this happy camaraderie in her classroom. The skills learnt over a well-designed board game were numerous and so well disguised the children were under the illusion they were merely playing.   
"You won't find a Toucan in Africa," informed Nate with a hearty laugh as he picked up the shaker to take his turn.   
"You need a Flamingo for Africa," said Jono with a grin as he produced a beautiful card of a Flamingo from his stack.  
"Where will you use the Flamingo card?" whispered Jade watching on intently.   
Jono scrutinised the board carefully, " I will jump to Kenya," Jono strategised with enthusiasm, "because that's closer to the Mountain Gorillas in the Rwenzori Mountains," he declared knowledgeably.   
Karen gave a quiet chuckle. Children learned so much during play. It was just fabulous magic at work.       

 




Natalie's Wish came true on the 23/12/2103 ... from an Auckland donor. Go Auckland . Thank you very much. 

Natalie Kershaw  Hamilton West



My wish is for a magnificent huge globe

The journey of a thousand miles beings with just one step.   Natalie has travelled and her gypsy wandering ways have given her a great love of the world. She uses her adventures nomadically exploring the globe to excite and enrapture the children. Whether it be stories of dusty village markets shimmering on the edge of desserts or high glaciers clinging precariously in the Hindu Cush she excites young minds to explore the globe. Sadly the classroom globe is broken from loving wear and it was always far too small.   

Natalie would dearly love a glorious prodigious globe that children can gather around and doesn't need a magnifying glass to read the names of exotic locations. In teaching through anecdotal stories the children are not only engaged but developing a great curiosity of culture, geography, history and language. It is pure story telling at its finest.   

Holly Crawford    Hamilton West   

My wish is to have a speaker with iPod Dock for dance.   

When it softly rains we'll dance again 
When the sun shines bright we'll dance again, 
Child take my hand and we'll dance again, 
Close your eyes, feel the grass and dance again 
To the moon and stars and back again.   

When Holly sits opposite me there is a graceful fluidity of movement as she glides effortlessly into the chair. It is of no surprise that this beautiful young teacher is also a dancer; it's her passion, her art form, her creative expression. Dance to Holly is probably as natural as breathing, something that has been part of her life for as long as she can remember.   
It's natural that she should want to pass this passion for dance to her students. To want them to understand how to learn to relax and shut their eyes and let music guide them in a natural expression of uninhibited movement. Holly wants the children to learn to dance outside, feeling the wind and the warmth of the sun, and listening to the music.    

Once upon a time there was a teacher who wanted to teach children to dance. She took them out into the sunshine with the grass between their toes and the wind lifting their hair and then she turned on the music and let the rhythm find their feet. 

Debbie Anderson  Marian Catholic School  



A wish for two new board games for room six -
This wish is still available to grant again as Debbie is after two board games

The laughter from the small group of children is contagious. It is playtime and an unruly cold shower sends little feet fleeing inside. Eight small heads bobbed over one Connect Four board. Mrs Anderson smiles as she watches the children playing. They are scratching heads, gasping in disbelief, emitting little roars of triumph and pursing lips as the levels of intense concentration increase.  

Play is vital for learning. Not only are children actively engaged, they are problem solving, turn taking, effectively communicating, sharing, waiting, practising eye hand coordination and manual dexterity, demonstrating and mimicking effective social skills and lengthening attention spans. All this when they just think they are simply playing, Mrs Anderson knows better. Some days teaching is nothing short of pure pleasure.  
Debbie's wish is for a new board game for the classroom.

Clare Delaney Knighton Normal School

 

Clare's wish is still available to be granted again as the Wish Fairy would love for 24 books to be granted.
So far there has been one book granted! 


Felicity looked at the big beautiful picture book in front of her and smiled. She could read now. Her sense of pride and self-belief shone forth like a bright shining star. Now she bounced with happiness as she walked, held her head high, smiled constantly and loved coming to school.  

It had been a very different story before she had the opportunity to join Clare at the Literacy Centre. There weren't books at home and English wasn't spoken much. She had felt like the dumbest kid in the class but not anymore. She didn't run away anymore, act out or cause trouble in class. She didn't even end up in fights with other kids anymore simply because she didn't get teased anymore. Life was so good now she could join in.  

Her only concern was her baby brother, Jazz. He would be at school next year and he didn't know his letters; couldn’t write his name or read at all, and the twins had just chewed on the pencil she had tried to teach them to hold. Felicity wished she had a book to read in the holidays and then she could teach Jazz his letters and maybe to even read a bit before school started. Felicity's grin broadened. Maybe she could ask Santa. Her eyes shone bright as a magnificent idea formed. Maybe she could ask Santa for as many as three books and then start her own little book shelf at home;  not just for her but for her little brothers and sisters as well. Felicity bounced in her chair with happiness maybe even Mum would like to look at her beautiful new books from Santa. Imagine if they could all learn to read and to love books like she did.  

Please help Clare Delany the specialist literacy teacher, reward her children with books to read in the home.  

This wish so touched the Wish Fairy that she would like to make this a special wish board. This wish will remain until these twenty four children each have a book, and each wish will grant a book. 

Stacey Johanson    Hamilton West  



Stacey's wish....   

"You give a try," Ms Johanson whispered. Zoe's little finger stretched out and pressed the button. With a whir and purr the machine came alive. Zoe was wide-eyed with anticipation.   
"Have a look at the computer screen Zoe." And then it happened.... Her handwritten and painstakingly decorated story appeared on the screen. "It’s so beautiful... I think we should email it to Mum, what do you think?" asked Miss Johanson.   

"You can do that?" Zoe asked, beaming with pride.    
"We can now," replied her teacher with a dazzling smile.    

For Ms Stacey Johanson this would be a dream come true. She doesn't have a printer/scanner combination yet, but you can make it happen. Give Zoe and her classmates the chance to share their amazing work electronically!    

Daniela Sasso  Hamilton West School   

Dressing up.   

There goes a mutinous pirate, there goes a creeping cat, 
Princes and witches, ghosts and the blackest of bats; 
All twirling around like leaves lifted by  wind, 
All round desks, under chairs, magic windows to  find: 
Imaginations fly with heroes as dastardly villains dash by 
Running as fast as legs will carry Feathers, frills and long tails that tarry  
Dressed for adventure in the twinkling of an eye. 
Dressed up children meander by.   
Grant a wish for a box full of dress up clothes.