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September 28, 2011 Movement for rural schools targets business

Kiwi businesses are being urged to replicate a loyalty scheme and build a movement to provide rural schools with much needed financial support. The Hatuma Growing Minds Fund donates 20 cents to nominated schools from every tonne of Dicalcic Phosphate fertiliser sold by Hawke’s Bay company Hatuma Dicalcic Phosphate Ltd.

‘By ourselves we can only do so much. If more rural businesses chip in and set up a similar scheme, we can secure the future of the most valuable assets we own as rural communities’, says Aaron Topp, a former teacher who started the scheme out of his genuine concern for the enduring challenges rural schools face.

‘Telecom used to do a great job with their school connection programme. We’re picking up the mantle and hoping others will join us.’

‘Schools are the heartbeat of small communities, and the education they provide our kids is second to none. Small classes, good peer support from older kids, and a safe, positive environment to learn in,’ says Mr Topp.

‘At the same time, life’s getting tougher for them with reduced budgets, while some face the very real threat of closure or amalgamation as their roll numbers drop.’

‘We’re committed to seeing the Hatuma Growing Minds Fund continuing indefinitely.’

So far this year, the Hatuma Growing Minds Fund has raised thousands of dollars for rural schools from Huntly to Oamaru. The scheme, where farmers nominate the rural school of their choice for the donation, has been running since 2009.

Principal of Ohakune Primary School Bonnie Collins-Bramley says the donation they received this year from the Hatuma Growing Minds Fund is helping the school improve all areas of the curriculum.

‘We’re thrilled farmers in the area and the rest of our community are supporting the programme and Ohakune Primary School.’

‘These funds let us to enjoy additional resources that support our students learning which we’d otherwise struggle to access,’ says Mrs Collins-Bramley.

More information about the Hatuma Growing Minds Fund is available online at http://www.futureminds.co.nz/, by calling Hatuma directly on 0800 80 65 65, or by talking to a local Hatuma Field Representative.

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