"We approached sKids with this offer because of their widespread reach across the country and their obvious heart for community, families and children.” sKids are receiving the Rising Tide books across their 170 sites next week and will distribute them to the children enrolled there. sKids business development manager Chris Bartels says “sKids is dedicated to giving back to our communities, and over the past years has donated thousands to very important causes. We think this is another way we can support New Zealand families to access resources in the wake of this horrifying event.”
Rising Tide was developed in partnership with the New Zealand Red Cross to support children and families to address mild to moderate anxiety. The book - a mix of story and exercises - is designed to be used in class and then at home. It is supported with videos and lesson plans for teachers, and exercises for families and therapists. Illustrated by award-winning Canterbury artist Jenny Cooper, it is avail- able in Te Reo Māori, English and Braille, as well as open-source in audio and digital form in both English and Te Reo Māori via the Worry bug website www.theworrybug.co.nz. Sarina, primary author, says “Rising Tide was written in the wake of the success of our first two books and short film (Everything is going to be alright) when parents and teachers asked for something for older children. Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive with more than 22 000 copies distributed.”
“Whilst we see it as important to reach children who are feeling anxious and suggest tools and resources to help address this, we have a larger vision - to build resources that work to scaffold learning and collaboration across the teacher, parent, child triangle - we call it ‘home and school scaffolding’. Rising Tide is more than just a simple story, it can be used to encourage and develop a climate of compassion, leading to an increase in pro-social behaviour and a positive classroom culture.” And this is what the Massey University team who joined the partnership early in the project’s journey, were interested in - not only whether the resources were effective, but what the project would tell us about what is useful in post-disaster situations.
Massey continues to research the project resources and also to examine the role of a whole-class tool for measuring wellbeing.
Copies of Rising Tide and He Tai Pari can be purchased via The Worry Bug website. Both versions of the story are also available to listen to or read on the website.
Safe Kids in Daily Supervision (sKids), was launched in New Zealand in 1996 when two mothers recognised the need for structured Out of School Care for primary school aged children. Dawn Engelbrecht and Bev Parsons, sKids franchisees purchased the New Zealand franchisor business in 2006, which at the time had 19 locations. In 2010, Chris Bartels joined as a director shareholder along with Dawn & Bev. Under their leadership, sKids has become New Zealand’s largest private out of school supervised care provider at 180 schools throughout the country, offering before and after school care, holiday programmes, as well as specialty programmes including; cooking, music and multi-sports.