SVA primary school programme launches today

Somerville Intermediate pupils with SVA Founder Sam Johnson, Auckland Mayor Phil Goff, Councillor Paul Young, and New World Howick owner Brendon Jones.

The Student Volunteer Army’s (SVA) Primary School Programme was officially launched today at Somerville Intermediate by Auckland Mayor Phil Goff.

The programme will see more than 32,000 school pupils become one of the SVA’s ‘Community Guardians’, by undertaking volunteer projects to improve their local environment, neighbourhood and public spaces – anything they and their teachers have identified as an area in need of action.

Projects include hosting discos for local elderly residents, cleaning beaches, testing tsunami sirens, compiling packs for refugee families, and making blankets and books for foster children.

New World, who support the programme, are also giving each of the 1,000 school-based teams a $50 New World voucher to spend on food and drink, to ensure everyone is well fed and watered.

New World have also donated $50,000 worth of groceries to the SVA’s Spring campaign to help hundreds of communities around New Zealand.

Also providing morning tea for today’s official launch at Somerville Intermediate was Brendon Jones, owner of New World Howick, who says he couldn’t wait to get in behind this project.

“An Army marches on its stomach and little ones especially need good food and healthy drinks to keep energised as they support their local communities. I love how kids are leading the charge and giving up their own time to do something special – we are so proud to be part of this,” says Jones.

Sam Johnson, the inspirational leader of the Student Volunteer Army, says with the Community Guardians initiative now in its second year, it’s heartening to have the additional support of New World stores nationwide.

“In just eight years, the SVA has grown from just a few hundred university students in Canterbury into a national movement involving tens of thousands of Kiwi kids of all ages,” says Johnson.

“All armies need feeding, though, and thanks to New World’s support, our Community Guardians will have the energy they need to make a massive difference during our Spring campaign.”

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