Phone a THS Friend

Teenagers can be pretty useful when it comes to figuring out the latest technology.

So when local Grey Power members were foxed by their phones, they put in a call to Thames High.

Student Evan Chang explains how a group of students is helping them out. 

When Grey Power president Barry Young wasn’t replying to his wife’s texts, they both thought getting tuition from some students at Thames High School would be a good idea to get advice on how to work their gadgets.

Carolyn, Young’s wife was put through to Head Boy James Hamilton, who then passed the baton down to me – fellow Year 13 student Evan Chang – to get in touch with Grey Power regarding how sessions will work, and to organise a group of keen students to volunteer.

The Grey Power members have now come to the school library for weekly half-hour sessions with the students, with there being enough students for each member to have a one-on-one session.

Each student finds a senior that has a similar or the same model phone as they do to make things easier. The seniors come along with a list of questions, ranging from how to turn their devices on to how to set them up with Google Maps in their car via Bluetooth.

The students are able to work through these questions with the senior, and at the end they were rewarded with morning tea courtesy of the seniors.

After the first session, the seniors were delighted with the help they got, many of them picking up new skills fast. Many claimed they “knew it all” once they knew the basics of their phone, but were encouraged to come back for future sessions so they could expand their knowledge to learn of all the bells and whistles of their gadget that they may not have known about.

Feedback from the community has been very positive, with the Hauraki Herald and both publishing articles about what the Grey Power sessions have been like.

Barry Young also said that because feedback from the sessions at Thames High School has been so great, the Waihi Grey Power group are also considering doing a similar thing with Waihi College.

The students involved have enjoyed helping the seniors, many of them saying it was easier for them to teach a group of people they weren’t related to.

The sessions have been very successful, with both the Grey Power members and the students gaining a positive experience, the Grey Power members are now more knowledgeable with their devices and the students are pleased knowing they’ve been able to help (and because of the delicious brownie they can eat afterwards!)