Amazing positive health impact from KidsCan initiative

Yesterday I spent several hours visiting a couple of schools with KidsCan.

During the visits we were assessing with the principal the impact of various programmes that KidsCan operates in the schools, including some I’d never heard of before the visits.

Most people know that KidsCan provides food in schools in conjunction with major corporates, but they also provide raincoats, jackets, shoes and nit treatment.

Both schools said that the Warriors-branded jackets were very popular and had made a difference with keeping kids warm in winter months.


What I found enlightening is that both schools refused to talk about poverty. Both were decile 3 schools, but were previously decile 2 schools. Changes in the neighbourhood have seen their decile ratings improve and, with that a significant improvement of parental involvement, the health of the children and attendance at school. But they simply refused to discuss poverty.

One principal stated that the pimping of the poor and poverty had led to stigmatisation of kids, so much so that getting them and their families help was made more difficult. He has been the principal at that school for 21 years, but I found him refreshing, vibrant and enthusiastic rather than the usual visage of teachers or principals that media parade before us who are usually broken, miserable and whinging.

Not this guy.

But during the discussion an interesting revelation came up. When asked what the single biggest positive impact was that had been achieved at the school with a KidsCan programme, he named the hand sanitiser and tissues initiative. Furthermore he stated that he had the data to prove it from attendance records.

I asked what impact?

He said since hand sanitiser had been introduced and their regime of washing hands before morning break, lunchtime and afternoon break, there had been significantly and measurably reduced sick days for kids at his school. He said he can show in the data when it was introduced and he believed that the flow-on from the programme went back with the kids to home and they were practising better hygiene there as well.

This was a revelation to KidsCan as well. When I spoke to Julie the CEO later in the day to reflect on what I had learned I asked her to check the records of other schools…that they may well have stumbled onto something here. It is something that is being investigated.

Both schools I visited love the work that KidsCan is doing, with one school hesitant  to enter the programme originally and now wishes they’d joined sooner.

I was left impressed by both schools and both principals.

Meanwhile I will continue my visits with KidsCan and look at the valuable work they are doing in schools.

If you feel you can help you can donate online or perhaps sponsor a child.

KidsCan is making a real difference and I have seen it with my own eyes.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.