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Salient. Victoria University of Wellington Students' Newspaper. Volume 31 Number 15, July 9, 1968

Handicapped children helped by students

Handicapped children helped by students

More than 50 children are benefiting from classes conducted by Victoria University students in connection with the University gymnasium.

The children come from the Home of Compassion, two local schools, broken homes and emigrating families.

The classes are mainly recreational. Children play ball games, slide on the ski ramp, do simple gymnastics, balancing and play on the trampoline.

The classes began last year after meetings with the Executive, University Staff, the Student Councillor, Dr Taylor and the Psychology department.

There was a need for students to see the practical side of education, psychology and sociology. They also felt it was a chance to contribute to the community.

Students observe different stages of child development, and put their educational and physical skills into practice.

Parties come to the gym three times a week.

Classes at University enable children to get away from their homes and to make new friends.

Mr Alan Laidler, the Physical Welfare Officer has noticed a difference in the children since they began. At first they tended to be self centred, noisy and not prepared to play. Through contact with the students they now have a better ability to co-operate with each other.

Twenty-five students help with the children. A meeting is held every Friday lunch-time in the gym. Problems are discussed and expert advice is given.

Any student who is very keen to help in the work is welcome.