Central Otago Rural Education Activities Programme

TEACHING / TUTORING / ASSISTING - Grandparents in Schools programme

Organisation Summary

Central Otago REAP provides a diverse and extensive educational resource to rural communities, implementing a life long learning approach. The overall purpose of Central Otago REAP is to provide educational support and assistance across all sectors including early childhood, primary, secondary and adult education.  Central Otago REAP is a community-based flexible resource providing formal and non-formal learning opportunities.

The Grandparents in Schools programme has been running for several years in Alexandra, Millers Flat, Omakau, Wanaka, Clyde and Cromwell.  It connects older people in the community with the young generation resulting in fantastic social and learning outcomes for both parties.  You do not have to have any family relationship with the school or children to participate.  There is an overall co-ordinator and a co-ordinator at each participating school.  Most children participating in the programme are referred by the school but can also be referred from family or others.  


Volunteers assist 5 to 9 year old children in developing their skills.  Volunteers spend 1 on 1 time with a child in the school setting.  They undertake a variety of fun activities such as reading, playing cards, snakes and ladders, telling stories or doing artwork.  Volunteers work with each child for half an hour per week under the direction of the class teacher.  Volunteers will be matched with the same children each week for one term, enabling them to build a friendly relationship with them.

Time Commitment:

During the School day, term time only for Term 2 and Term 3. 

Additionally some “grandparents” choose to get together for social occasions with other “grandparents”.

Located in  in Alexandra, Millers Flat, Omakau, Wanaka, Clyde and Cromwell

Skills required:

Although targeted at connecting older and younger members of the community there is no age requirement.  

Volunteers must be comfortable working with young people and be able to actively engage with them.  They must be able to communicate and relate at an appropriate level and support them positively in their skill development.

Volunteers need a sound basic education (e.g. be literate and able to undertake everyday mathematics) and working life experience. 

A police vetting check will be required.

Skills gained:

Volunteers will work alongside others at each session and will gain, communication and relationship building skills.  “Grandparents” gain a sense of satisfaction and reward in seeing the benefits and progress in the young people.  Many “grandparents” form a mutual relationship with the children and other “grandparents.  Costs associated with running the programme are covered.

Schedule Summary

This activity generally occurs on

  • Monday Afternoon
  • Tuesday Afternoon
  • Wednesday Afternoon
  • Thursday Afternoon
  • Friday Afternoon