We are working with the owner of ZK-EIB a six seat Piper Lance this year. The Charity is being supported by Z Energy Limited to provide additional flights during 2018. This aircraft has the capability of taking five passengers up at a time. One of the first missions this year will be to fly this aircraft to at least 5 centres around NZ giving the freedom of flight to kids in wheelchairs.
The swing (above) was sponsored by Child Flight. It has been installed at Sara Cohen special needs school in Dunedin.
Today we introduced our new logo. It is more in keeping with the Curious Minds logo and a slightly more linear style. Bit risky to change but we felt that it was time for a fresh look. 2018 will be a massive change year for us as we start to employ more staff. Our intention is to involve up to 10 schools in the North Island in the Curious Minds project which will include flights. This will require the Charity to apply for increased funding, a time consuming activity which take us away from core activities. We will be looking for someone who is skilled in funding applications to join us.
Today we completed two flights for Women's Refuge sponsored by the WEL Energy Trust in Hamilton. The airport gave us full use of their lounge and the control tower provided their services free. There is a great feeling of bon homme at this airport with everyone pulling together to make our experience as enjoyable as possible. Even the airport got a laugh when a couple of our little blighters got on the public address system. Air New Zealand staff were sent scurrying to find the culprits!!
The big news is that we achieved the flights we had promised to the 28 students who had completed the Curious Minds-Possible Worlds class from Kaitaia Intermediate. We were saddened by the news that Sue Arrell will be stepping down as the Principal. Sue has been a great supporter of our program from the very start and helped us pioneer the first classes.
On a more positive note we met up with Heather Greaves (photo below) who runs the curriculum program for Oturu School on the outskirts of Kaitaia township. Oturu is part of a consortium of 20 schools in the Far North, and we are hoping to work with Heather and her team when we run our 2018 Curious Minds classes at Te Ahu (Community Centre).
On another positive note we have appointed an official local representative in Kaitaia, Shirley Williams. Shirley is very well known in the Kaitaia community and has been a supporter of Child Flight since we arrived in Northland 3 years ago.
On the 16th August classes began for Curious Minds at Fairfield Intermediate in Hamilton. Our first classes in a Hamilton School. This programme is being supported by Harcourts Hamilton and Ebbett Volkswagen. We have 20 students in the class which were carefully selected by the school's deputy principal.
Today, 17th August we braved the weather conditions to fly our Piper Arrow to Whakatane to present a cheque to James Street School, a special needs school we have been connected with for 3 years now through the Z Energy Good in the Hood Programme.
Leticia Allan manages the Northland Z service stations under the name Stage 3 Northland. For 3 years she has supported Child Flight in the Far North. Together we have achieved flights for over 100 kids, special needs and disadvantaged, many have never flown before. This has come about through Stage 3's involvement with Z Energy's Good in the Hood programme where the energy company donates $1 million dollars to social welfare projects in New Zealand's communities.
We are pleased to announce that Foundation North have given us sufficient sponsorship to go ahead with our plans to open up Curious Minds-Possible Worlds to as many as 200 kids in Kaitaia using the Te Ahu venue in town. This is very exciting news as we are hoping to extend an invitation to as many as 10 schools in the Far North. The programme will be the updated version of the course that has been introduced over the last two years in Kaitaia Intermediate school.
Child Flight has just spent 4 days at Kaitaia Intermediate teaching Curious Minds-Possible Worlds. We had another class of 28 students all aged 11 years (see photo below). The students achieved a high standard of understanding and bonded well with us. The only disappointing aspect was the advent of Cyclone Cook which destroyed any chances we had to give these kids the sensory experience of flight. FLYSTARK had agreed to fly to Kaitaia in their 8 seat Airvan and managed to get as far up as Kerikeri, but could not get through the fast moving fronts.
This class brings the total of students exposed to Curious Minds to over 80 since we started in 2015 with Kaitaia Junior School, when we brought up the DC3 from Ardmore, Auckland.
We are planning to open up the program to other schools in the Far North in 2018, subject to our successfully being able to raise funding. Our goal will be to reach over 150 students throughout the Northland Region.
On the 3rd of March 2017 we were lucky enough to get away 5 flights for a special needs school in Whangarei. Tracy Chapman, team leader wrote the following:
"HI Chris and Leiticia
Many thanks once again for the awesome organisation of the Child Flights and sponsorship by Z Service Station. I have sent photos and a description of the flight etc to the Northern Advocate and Z Service Station also our school newsletter.Many of these students have never been on a aeroplane in their lives. What a great day.The next day we followed up with feedback from the Child Flights and integrated this into their school unit emotions, where we focused on excited and scared. We shared genuine and enthusiastic feed back from students and staff.A huge applaud to Leticia and the Z Service Station Crew who supported on us this day.You have a brilliant and kind team operating with you. Many thanks to Mark and the awesome chap (Ray Stark) who flew with Mark from Whitianga.
Thank you for making our students lives excited, happy and complete.
Flystark is a boutique airline run from Whitianga. We are working with Ray Stark the owner and CEO. Ray has two Gippsland Airvans which are capable of carrying up to 7 passengers, absolutely ideal for Child Flight's special needs kids operation. On the 3rd of March weather permitting Ray will position one of his airvans at Whangarei Airport so that we can do 4 flights for Blomfield Special Needs School. This will allow us to get 28 kids and teacher aids into the air.