Te Komanawa Rowley School gets new playground

“Local Rotary Clubs help fund new Playground Equipment at

 Te Komanawa Rowley School”

In 2021 the Rotary Club of Cashmere were fortunate to have on the Guest Speaker List, Graeme Norman, Principal of Te Komanawa Rowley School. It is a community-hub school with a diverse range of cultures and families under financial pressure to provide for their children.

Graeme was newly appointed with a brief to turn the school’s shrinking roll around or the school faced closure. Graeme gave his presentation, much of it off script and straight from the heart. His commitment and vision for the kind of future he wanted for his students made quite an impact on members. Such was that impact that several weeks later members of the club discussed about how we might help Graeme make the changes that would benefit his students.

Our Rotary Club decided to ask Graeme what help the school needed.

Two projects were identified to get kids excited about going to school and for the signal they would send to students, families and the community that real change was at hand.

Principal Graeme Norman believed that the first priority was a new school uniform to encourage the children to have pride in attending school.  Funding was provided from the community by way of an anonymous former student of Rowley School.  Our Rotary Club also provided some funding towards the new uniforms.

Also on the list was an exciting playground rope climbing structure to encourage outdoor activity among the students. The rope climbing structure has many unique benefits for children’s development – motor skills, muscle development, balancing skills, coordination, interaction, co-operation and social skills as they move about on the flexible structure.  It was a major expense and we enlisted help from Riccarton Rotary Club and the Rotary District Fund in order to make a major contribution of $25,000 along with other funding providers to cover the cost of $50,000 for the purchase and installation. Members of the Rotary Club of Cashmere recently visited Rowley School to see the completed climbing structure in use.

Rotary Cashmere Club President Keith Widdup commented …….“The Cashmere Rotary Club was thrilled to help the children at Te Komanawa Rowley School. It is impressive to see how happy the children are and how the school is buzzing. Our pleasure to give some help.”

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