Bringing business skills into low-decile schools

Published: Wed 31 Oct 2007 02:35 PM
A programme bringing corporate business skills into low-decile Auckland schools is among a raft of applications approved in ASB Community Trust’s latest grants round.
The Building Better Schools Through Business Partnerships (BSB) programme gained a $150,000 grant for operating costs and for on-going evaluation, says the CEO of ASBCT, Jennifer Gill.
BBS Chairman Mark Bentley says the programme already has nine partnerships running between schools and businesses and there are 10 more in the pipeline. The schools already signed up are Penrose High School, Papakura High, Rongomai Primary, Bailey Road School, Hay Park Road School, Edmund Hillary School, Wymondley Road School, Kelston School and Takanini School
During a three-year partnership, businesses share their governance, leadership and management skills with a school’s board, principal and senior management.
“Some of New Zealand’s biggest companies are involved,” says Mr Bentley, “names like Westpac, KPMG, ASB, Deloitte, Tonkin & Taylor, McConnell Ltd and Telecom. No money changes hands - the value is in the skills, expertise and networks businesses bring to a school’s board table.”
Another educational initiative to gain ASBCT funding is Great Potentials, which was granted $121,000 for work including an extension of the successful Home Interaction Programme for Parents and Youngsters (HIPPY).
ASBCT’s Jennifer Gill says HIPPY has a strong track record, encouraging parents to become effective teachers of their children and prepare them for school success.
“Our trust wants to fund projects that focus on strengthening children, their families and their communities,” she says. “HIPPY, in particular, has been shown to be particularly effective.”
At the other end of the education spectrum, a $106,000 ASBCT grant will allow the First Foundation to build its grants programme for academically talented, but financially disadvantaged, students who want to go on to tertiary study.
First Foundation asks businesses to provide scholarships and mentoring for students from low-decile Auckland schools. Ms Gill says the ASBCT grant will allow the organisation to grow and increase business partnerships, so more scholarships can be offered.
About ASB Community Trust:
ASB Community Trust is an independent grant-making organisation serving the Auckland and Northland communities. With funding from its investment income stream, the Trust makes an average of $45 million in grants to more than 1100 community groups each year.
Any incorporated society or registered charitable trust can apply for funds, provided they are a not-for-profit organisation working for community good.
For more details, visit the Trust’s website:

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