Suitable for Years 9-13, this award program is designed to recognise students volunteer hours over the accumulative years they attend a New Zealand Secondary School.

Key information regarding this program

School Kit is excited to be involved in the launch of the SVA Service Award, for Years 9-13 students in New Zealand Secondary Schools. This programme is based on a national framework and has been developed in association with Sam Johnson and the Student Volunteer Army. It is a great way for your students to be acknowledged for the time they devote to volunteering in and out of school, and provide them with a way to record their contribution of service effectively.

Your school may already have a compulsory service project operating in your school, for any year level, and/or have a focus on student led service. The SVA Service Award can sit alongside any current service award system you may have in operation in your school.

This is a tiered award system, based on the hours of volunteering your students engage in. A member’s pin is awarded to each students who completes 5 hours of service. They will then progress to obtain a bronze, silver and gold pin, after reaching the targeted number of service hours.

Each year, the one student in your school who dedicates the most time to serving others, will be acknowledged for their efforts, when presented with the Pounamu Award- a real honour.

Need some help?

  • Q: What are the benefits of being involved in the SVA Service Award?

    A: There is no cost to your school, it is time saving for your staff ( particularly the person/ people responsible for writing testimonials). It is also a really effective way for students to track their own involvement in service activities in and out of school, over the duration of their time at High School.

    Your students will have the ability to print out a comprehensive record of service, to show a prospective employer or tertiary institute the positive contribution they make to their community.

  • Q: How do we get involved as a school?

    A: School Kit needs to be connected with a key person in your school, who will have the responsibility for receiving and presenting the SVA Award pins as they are earned by your students. Send us their name, contact email, mobile number, your School Name, the role they have in the school and the best time to contact them to:

    We will then make phone contact with that person and have a discussion about what your school is currently doing, in regards to service. Further information about the SVA Service Award will be forwarded to them.

    Your key person will be asked to identify how many students in your school need to be acknowledged for their volunteering efforts and the starter kit will be forwarded to them directly.

  • Q: Is there a limit to how many pins you can request as a school?

    A: Absolutely not. School Kit will forward you the number of free Members’ pins you request. Your responsibility is to decide how and when to present the pins to your student volunteers, as they complete the required hours for the various levels.

    Initially you will receive members pins and few pins at the bronze level, in readiness for presentation as required.

  • Q: How is the tracking of service hours done?

    A:There is a web based platform onto which your students will log on and record their service hours. It is an accumulative record of what and when a student carries out service, in and out of school. Each student who registers will have an individual responsibility to record their hours as accurately and honestly as possible. This model is based on trust and your young people will need this explained to them.

    The key person in your school will be sent a report from the SVA Foundation on the 20th of each month, informing them which students have achieved the next level. School kit receives the same report and can see how many bonze, silver and gold pins you need to have sent to you. Once they have been received, you to determine an appropriate time to present those pins to the students who have earned them.

  • Q: When can students print off their service profiles?

  • A: They can print it off at any time. Having a one page summary of their service record will be most useful when applying for employment, place in a Hall of Residence or when applying for student leadership roles within school. We encourage you to ask students to share their profiles with you, particularly if you want to know more about what service a student may have completed to achieve a certain level of pin.

  • Q: What counts as service?

    A: This Award System is based on helping others, with no personal financial gain for the individual student, or your school. Ultimately it is up to your school to decide what does or does not count as service hours for the SVA Service Award. Remember volunteering in and out of school can be credited. There were several grey areas, so we sought clarification from the SVA Foundation and it has been agreed that: caring for a grandparent, parent or siblings at home for no pay and Head Prefects, along with any other student leadership role do qualify as service we felt. Ultimately the final decision however is yours as a school. There does need to be an awareness of the difference between a hobby and a cause and it is important not to include hobbies.




This Program is proudly sponsored by The SVA Foundation