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The kids cafe where te reo is cool

Lakeview School pupils Wiki Rimene, left, Kailyn Relampagos, and Keisha Cherry running the ‘Cool to Korero Cafe’. PHOTO/CHELSEA BOYLE


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It’s cool to korero at Lakeview School.

The school has been going the extra mile for Maori language week with a ‘Cool to Korero Cafe’ drawing in youngsters for a yarn in te reo over a hot cup of milo and a biscuit during morning tea time.

But Lakeview School principal Tim Nelson was quick to point out that Maori language should be encouraged every week not just in Maori language week.

“If you think that’s your requirement done for the year it’s not as impactful as it should be,” he said.

“It’s 52 weeks of the year.”

He has been learning te reo in his spare time through a course at Otaki Polytechnic.

“It’s going really well,” he said.

He had mastered the basics of reading and writing the language, and was polishing up his speaking and listening abilities.

Mr Nelson said learning languages would open doors for his pupils.

Once they have studied English and te reo he would like to see them pursue another language that sparks their interest.

Mr Nelson credits Lakeview teacher Paul Andersen, a fluent te reo speaker, as a huge asset to the school.

“He’s a treasure,” Mr Nelson said.

Mr Andersen had created teaching resources that were used across the country.

Lakeview School pupils Wiki Rimene, 13, Keisha Cherry, 12, and Kailyn Relampagos, 12, were running the Cool to Korero Cafe yesterday.

Wiki said they were trying to encourage other kids to pick up the basics.

“We’re here because it’s Maori language week and we are trying to teach kids Maori.”

The trio thought they had had about 40 kids lining up to partake in the cafe.

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