Life in The Streets of Mount Wellington

Publish Date : 15 Apr 2024
Reading Warrior At Bailey Road School
Behind the scenes: Guy Pigden Creative Director - Campfire Studios and AJ Tuuaga Rangi from Bailey Road School filming The Streets.

Talented students at Bailey Road School have captured details of what it’s like to live on their streets in Mount Wellington in a book and video titled The Streets (2023).

Proudly funded by Maungakiekie-Tāmaki Local Board, the video records students impeccably reading their views and highlights of the Mount Wellington neighbourhood to the camera.

The project provided an opportunity for pupils to embrace their connection to the neighbourhood, be motivated to improve literacy skills and rejuvenate negative connotations to ‘the streets’ through honest and fond observations of the Mount Wellington area.

Maungakiekie-Tāmaki Local Board chair, Maria Meredith is impressed by the work that students have put in and is pleased to be supporting the project.

“This work really shows how engaged and connected our tamariki are with their surroundings,” says chair Meredith.
“Thank you and well done to David. The children’s video was incredibly powerful, and reminds us of the importance of learning, schools and families working together to build a better future,” she says.

“Empowering and engaging with local youth and celebrating our diverse communities are at the top of our priorities for Maungakiekie-Tāmaki – so this project is well worth the investment.

“We hope that by supporting our youth and showcasing their work they will continue to work hard in school and at their passions. And we’d love to support more of these kinds of initiatives,” says chair Meredith.

With a deeply diverse school roll, Bailey Road School is made up of about 46 per cent Pasifika, 23 per cent Māori, 15 per cent Asian, eight per cent New Zealand European, plus other ethnicities. And in this book students get the chance to explain their humble beginnings and how they and their whānau arrived at their street.

Former school teacher, and producer of the book and video, David Riley’s mission is to help under-represented school children get the recognition they deserve, through encouraging development of their reading and writing abilities and instilling pride in where they come from.

“Local board support is really important for these projects. Thanks to a local grant provided by Maungakiekie-Tāmaki Local Board, we were able to produce a video of students reading the book, which celebrates Mount Wellington,” says Riley.

“My goal is to help youth write their own books and shine a light on where they’ve grown up and where their families are from.

“I’m passionate about working with kids as it’s so important to motivate and give them confidence, especially those who have struggles with school. Some of them really love writing so it’s about giving them a chance to do what they enjoy,” he says.

The video of Bailey Road School students can be viewed here. More information about Maungakiekie-Tāmaki Local Grants here.

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