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Sponsorship programme helps students get maths tutoring

new sponsorship programme is helping students who need extra tuition in maths but can’t afford to get the help they need.

MathZwise Te Awamutu owner and operator Jean McKenzie is bringing her Circle of Success sponsorship programme to Raglan, and her vision is that struggling students will be able to get the tutoring by being sponsored by others in the community.

Jean, whose school tuition business won the Waipa Networks 2015 New and Emerging Business Award, says she started the sponsorship concept because she felt concerned about the students who needed maths tuition but whose families were unable to afford it.

They are usually the ones who need it most, she says.

Jean says she is looking for businesses and individuals who are willing to help sponsor lessons, and she already knows of a number of Raglan families who are in need of tuition help.

“Children are the most valuable possession in a community,” says Jean.

The maths lessons will benefit the children, and therefore benefit the whole community, she says.

The Circle of Success programme pays half of the tuition fees for needy students. Two students are taught at a time by a tutor, for one hour once a week, in an intensive programme that follows the New Zealand curriculum.

There are three different tiers of sponsorship: a donation towards a student’s lessons; $450 for the cost of lessons for one term for two students; or $1800, which will pay for two students to take lessons for a whole school year.

Five students in Raglan currently take mathZwise tuition – one who is being sponsored by Jean herself.

Circle of Success is about everyone coming around the student, who is the key person, says Jean.

MathZwise students are usually aged 7-18 years, but also can be adults who need a refresher in maths for furthering education or joining the police force.

Jean says she encourages Raglan businesses to get on board with the sponsorship programme to help students.

“Let’s make a change, so the results happen.

“Without mathematics you are in pretty big trouble really.”

Jean says maths is important for passing NCEA, for getting an apprenticeship, for budgeting, sorting your mortgage, cooking, administering medication.

“Maths is everywhere.

“It used to be the poor cousin of literacy, but it’s become more and more recognised that you need mathematics…

“We put a lot of emphasis on our times tables. Times tables is a special gift you can give your kids. If you don’t have that quick recall, it just slows you right down.”

* For anyone keen to get on board with the Circle of Success sponsorship programme, please contact Jean McKenzie:

Inger Vos

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