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Support for secondary schools - GetWize2health Programme

How can the adults of the future, and ultimately the parents of the future, be best set up to live healthy lives if they have their schooling delivered in an environment that doesn't promote and encourage the making of the healthier decisions?   How can students learn and live well when they don't have the resources to make decisions about living a healthy lifestyle...or even how to decide what information is safe to use among the range of sources available to them?

Diabetes Foundation Aotearoa started the GetWize2health programme 20 years ago.  The story was that a number of school nurses were sat around a table trying to address health issues of concern and one thing raised resonated with a go-get-em manager at the DHB who was present.   "We can't get uniforms big enough for some of these kids" was what the nurses said.   

So this was mentioned in another meeting, this time attended by Diabetes Foundation Aotearoa.   With our community health promotion design experience it was decided..."We'll do this". From that a programme was designed and developed, trialled with year 9 students, then run for a number of years in three low decile schools.   The programme was very well received, with positive evaluations, however the model didn't allow for expansion, so it evolved into more of a supported Train the Trainers model.  The GetWize2health kitset was developed, expertise was gained to make sure it was aligned with the curriculum, and the Schools Programme had arrived.

The programme has continued to adapt and develop, so much so and over such a long time it's impossible to say who has had input over that time, suffice to say, the effort has been appreciated.   Currently three to four workshops are run a year with teachers/school nurses/others invited to attend where they get detailed input and support to implement and adapt the GetWize2health resources and a free kit to take away.   Sometimes (thanks Covid-19) the training sessions are run online, which suits some teachers as there are often issues finding time away from the classroom for training.    Sometimes training is onsite if there are a group of people interested in getting together.

The GetWize2health Resource kit consists of a manual with 10 modules, including games, challenges, FAQ's and tips how to engage, teach and evaluate.  The assumption isn't made that the person going to deliver the programme will be all-knowing so there is plenty of easily understood information included.  Fat and Sugar displays which the Foundation have been making themselves over the last 20+ years are part of the kit, and other example leaflets, resources and sources of information are included.   Powerpoint presentations are available, and supporting youtube video clips (DVD on request).

In addition to the workshops and the resource kit, the Schools Facilitator (and other team members as needed) remain available for questions and support, and can participate in other activities such as environmental scans, expos, specialised sessions, and in an advisory capacity such as around food provided onsite and fundraising.   

Currently the programme is funded by Te Whatu Ora with no cost to participating schools.   Over the years the Diabetes Foundation Aotearoa Schools Programme have worked with many of the Secondary Schools across Auckland, and in some cases in other areas on request.   We also work with other providers in schools including but not limited to Heart Foundation, Healthy Families, Smoking Cessation, and Tuckshop providers.  Our other teams including Gardens4Health are available for advice/support with setting up community gardening projects.  

For up to date information go to our website here, or to get the Schools Facilitator to visit you for a site scan and recommendations, email schools@diabetesfoundationaotearoa.nz or call on 09 273 6950.

Note: Example of some of the GetWize2Health kit contents. Contents may change

Note:  Example of some of the GetWize2Health kit contents.  Contents may change