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Biggest graduation for Computers in Home scheme

posted Mar 30, 2015, 5:18 PM by Karen Cave   [ updated Feb 19, 2017, 3:20 PM ]

15th July 2010

Tutor Chris Turner, Craig Kumeroa graduate receiving his certificate,and Di Das, national co-ordinator of Computer in Homes.

COMPUTER in Homes Taranaki had its biggest ever graduation ceremony this week, with 62 students from all over South Taranaki graduating.
The event, held in the Eltham Town Hall on Monday morning, was well attended by  graduates, their family and friends, several  Community Board members, Mayor Ross Dunlop,  local MP Chester Burrows and national co-ordinator Di Das. Performances were made by the local Te Kura Kaupapa Maori O Ngati Ruanui school.
“We had no idea just how well this programme was going to be received” Said Di Das, National coordinator of Computer in Homes.  “South Taranaki is one of the most successful programmes, as we see students not only help their children in the home, but go on to seek more education and even better job opportunities for themselves”
MP Chester Burrows admitted that he remembers when he was first learning, how frustrated and he felt when first using new technology so he has a lot of admiration for the graduates and what they have achieved.
Eltham’s had its first intake of 15 families graduating in March, 2005.  “We have seen this grow from just a small group of dedicated people  to what it is today and we will see it grow even  more” said Di Das.

Computers In Homes 2015

posted Mar 30, 2015, 5:14 PM by Karen Cave   [ updated Mar 30, 2015, 5:19 PM ]

We want to run more Computers in Homes courses in Opunake, Hawera and Eltham next term. We have some places available for interested and eligible families who live in these areas, as well as Manaia, Kaponga and Stratford.
If you have friends or family members who you know may be interested, could you please contact them? Ask them to text 027 699 7429, with their name and phone number and Christina our Coordinator will contact them.
Also, if you would like to do some further training, and if there is enough interest, we will consider running some Stepping UP classes in Opunake.
Registrations needed before April 10th 2015

E-Waste? What can be done?

posted Oct 10, 2011, 2:41 PM by Christina Turner

Laurence Zwimpfer spoke to Breakfast TVNZ on October 4th, 2011.

Laurence Zwimpfer, who is the Chairman of E-Day, spoke to Petra on  the Breakfast program about growing concerns regarding our country's e-waste problem, and said that the current government schemes may not be enough.

Eltham celebrates largest graduation in country

posted Nov 9, 2010, 10:22 PM by Karen Cave   [ updated Feb 19, 2017, 3:21 PM ]

2nd July 2008

GRADUATES from the 2008 Eltham Computers in Homes project

THIRTY-SEVEN Eltham families celebrated on Monday, June 30, at New Zealand's largest ever Computer in Homes graduation.

This is the sixth graduation for the Eltham Computers in Homes programme and the largest nationally, with 180 attendees including many Members of Parliament and prominent members of the community.

The event was held at the Eltham Town Hall. Speakers included MP Harry Duynhoven, MP Chester Burrows, MP Turiana Turia South Taranaki District Mayor Ross Dunlop and national co-ordinator Di Das.

All of the speakers congratulated the students/parents for their amazing achievements and told them all to be proud of their accomplishments.

"The idea behind this programme was to bring computers into the homes of children to raise their literacy levels. This programme has now expanded to help the entire family and community. It is a vital project for the future and has amazing results for the recipients," said mayor Ross Dunlop.

Through the national Computers in Homes programme, local families are provided with computers and internet access along with training, skills and support to use this technology, via their local schools.

The programme brings computer technology within reach of all New Zealand families with school-aged children, and allows parents and grandparents to connect with their childrens learning.

During the programme parents receive 20-hours of basic computer training, including word processing, emailing and using the internet, conducted at their children's school or a local community hub.

The training is aimed at empowering parents to become actively involved in their children's learning, as well as increasing their own employment opportunities and confidence. Results from the programme have included employment success and continued education. Ms Das said the programme has also seen a number of parents actively engaging with their school for the first time.

Computers in Homes estimates more than 100,000 New Zealand families with school-aged children in low-income communities still don't have a computer at home. The organisation was in Eltham to both celebrate local achievements and raise awareness of the programme to encourage Government and business to scale up their support for the programme

"We are encouraged by the level of support from MPs from Labour, National and the Maori party that were present. We do hope regional celebrations such as Eltham's will encourage the Government and businesses to expand their support for the programme to ensure it gets the funding it needs to connect the other 100,000 families in New Zealand without a computer and the internet," said Computers in Homes' national co-ordinator, Di Das.

Ms Das said New Zealand's 2006 Census results reinforce the need for funding and support to establish and develop Computers in Homes into a national programme and policy. "Thirty-seven percent of households with school-aged children are without the internet in the South Taranaki District according to the 2006 Census. This compares to the North Shore District, which has only thirteen percent of households without internet access," she said.

"South Taranaki is a priority region as the district ranks 57th for internet access out of 73 districts in New Zealand. Computers in Homes has helped to connect some of these South Taranaki families, but there are many more here and across the country who are waiting to be included."

The programme started in 2000, and has already supported more than 4,000 New Zealand families with recycled computers, six months of free internet access, computer training and technical support.

The programme began in Eltham in 2005, with 15 families based at Eltham Primary School. At the end of 2005, the programme linked with the Eltham Community Care Group and received funding from the TSB Community Trust.

In 2006, the programme joined forces with the South Taranaki District Council and moved into their council building. In June, nine families graduated, with another 12 graduating in October.

In 2007, 22 families graduated in June, with another 21 families in October.

In September, the Eltham programme won a national award for Excellence in Adult Community Education and the two tutors Christina Turner and Karen Cave gained national qualifications.

"We receive numerous emails of thanks from participants in the programme. It opens up a whole new world of opportunity for families who participate. One success story for Eltham is that a first year graduate is now a qualified tutor for the course."

Ms Das said Computers in Homes is an initiative of the 2020 Communications Trust, with support from the Ministry of Education and the Government's Digital Strategy Community Partnership Fund. The 2020 Trust is looking for funding and support to expand Computers in Homes to all low-income communities where children do not have access to computers and the internet in their homes.

For more information visit

GRADUATES from the 2008 Eltham Computers in Homes project with local MPs and prominent members of the community.

Getting Wired in Eltham

posted Nov 3, 2010, 9:22 PM by Karen Cave   [ updated Feb 19, 2017, 3:23 PM ]

DATE: 03 April 2006

The Eltham Computers in Homes programme celebrated its first birthday with the announcement more families will benefit this year.

Last year 15 families took part in the programme based at Eltham Primary School, undergoing training and then receiving a free computer, internet connection and technical support.

The 20/20 Communications Trust began Computers in Homes in Porirua in 2000, making recycled computers available to families unable to buy one for themselves. It is modeled on the successful Books in Homes and aims to make sure families are not left behind in an increasingly technological world.

Erena Hillman was one of the Eltham parents who did the course last year. Her three children, aged nine, eight and five, use the computer for homework and entertainment, while Erena catches up with friends and family and looks for jobs. “We use it for everything; it’s like quite a big loss when it’s not going.”

During the day Erena will think of something she wants to know more about and then at night look it up on the Internet.

This year’s five-week training for parents of children at Eltham Primary School takes place in term two with a choice of two dates to start the training. The TSB Trust and 20/20 Communications Trust are providing the funds.

Trainer Chris Turner will lead the course, held this year at the Eltham Community Building because of the redevelopment happening at the school.

Karen Cave, who did last year’s course with husband Darryl, says their four-year-old son Bradley can now turn the computer on, play a game and shut the computer down, learnt from watching his siblings. “It’s just awesome to see him able to do it on his own,” Karen says.

She produces a newsletter for the local kindergarten on her computer, which is much easier than using a typewriter.

Mary McKee, who won a printer at the birthday celebration for completing a survey, uses her computer to research her disability, get recipes and knitting patterns and to shop. Her 14-year-old uses it to research school projects and her four-year-old to learn to write her name and do pictures.

Computers in Homes national co-ordinator Di Das says children with a computer at home are more confident at school and more enthusiastic about homework if they can do research on the computer.

While the programme started with a focus on children and their literacy, it soon became apparent parents were learning computer skills too, vital for nearly every job.
Di says the programme is not just about getting computers in homes, but encouraging parents to be involved in their children’s education and seeing the benefits of technology for education.

The Eltham programme is supported by Eltham Community Care, Eltham Primary School and the South Taranaki District Council.

To register or find out more about the programme, contact community development Jackie Broughton on 0800 111 323 or inquire at the school.

Hi-tech help for Eltham families

posted Nov 3, 2010, 9:04 PM by Karen Cave   [ updated Feb 19, 2017, 3:22 PM ]

Co-ordinator pleased to be allocated grant

BY MATT RILKOFF - Taranaki Daily News

Last updated 05:00 14/07/2009

A hefty slice of a $3 million government grant to put computers in homes is coming to South Taranaki.

The Eltham-based Computers in Homes programme has been given $316,000 to give computers to 150 families.

Regional co-ordinator and tutor Christina Turner was surprised they were allocated so much as there were $11 million in applications for a $3 million grant pool. "We knew there were grants coming so we are not surprised that we got some, but we are surprised that we applied for funding for 150 families and we got funding for 150 families."

Computer-less families set to benefit from the grant will be chosen from within the South Taranaki District.

As well as the required hardware they will get 20 hours of computer tutorials and four to six months of internet access.

"After that the providers we work with, Watchdog and Slingshot, will give them subsidised access for 18 months," Mrs Turner said.

For Mary McKee getting a computer through the programme in 2006 was a new chapter in her life. Though scared of using it at first, she now regularly surfs the web to talk with her specialist in London on how to treat her bone cancer and multiple sclerosis.

"I also tutor new intakes," she said.

"I like to do that because that is something I am able to do.

"I cannot go to work and I like to help people and I like to meet new people and this programme has let me do it," she said.

Despite the grant Mrs Turner said the people they were able to help were just the tip of the iceberg.

There were an estimated 900 families in the district with school-aged children who did not have access to a computer and the internet in their home.

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