More Mates for South Auckland pupils

Wednesday 15 April 2009, 10:20AM
By Paula Bennett


South Auckland intermediate pupils in 12 low-decile schools will benefit from one-on-one mentoring with university students thanks to a $120,000 grant.

Youth Affairs Ministers Paula Bennett said today the Great Potentials Foundation would get the grant for its Mates (Mentoring and Tutoring Exchange) scheme.

"Through Mates, university mentors tutor young people, encouraging and inspiring them to achieve at school. The success of Mates has proved that a carefully structured and closely supervised combination of mentoring and tutoring increases academic achievement, raises aspirations, and enhances self-confidence.

"Any scheme that successfully keeps at-risk pupils engaged and interested in their schooling deserves support."

Ms Bennett also announced that the Youth Mentoring Trust would receive a $10,000 grant to help develop new guidelines for youth mentoring.

"The Youth Mentoring Trust coordinates and links people with a variety of programmes across New Zealand that support youth," she said. "Programmes range from the Big Buddy scheme, which provides positive role modelling for boys, to education-based mentoring that helps encourage at-risk children to stay at school."