Whanganui Kindergartens celebrate volunteers

To a not-for-profit organisation, good volunteers are vital and kindergartens in Whanganui are lucky enough to have attracted great ones. This year the AGM of He Whānau Manaaki Free Kindergarten Association will be held in Whanganui, to recognise the joining of the 15 Whanganui and Central Plateau kindergartens to the family.

Whānau Manaaki means “caring family” and the AGM is the chance to recognise how volunteers play a part. Volunteers like speech and language therapist, Virginia Cameron, who for the past eight or so years has visited Gonville and Central Kindergartens supporting children’s oral language and social relationships, donating her time, training and expertise.

Kindergarten provides an attractive and fun environment for children to play and learn in and families often work to maintain our grounds. Harriette Vine Kindergarten will acknowledge Jayden Chant’s role. Head teacher, Brenda Kidd says, “He's just a young man but he does all of our rubbish shifting, water blasting of the equipment, including decking and picnic tables - all our heavy lifting and garden planting etc.... this is done in his own time over the weekends and during term breaks.”

Wanganui East Kindergarten is truly grateful for Lizzie Condliffe and Aaron King-Parkes’ support in many ways - mending equipment, attending working bees and identifying and helping to complete upgrades to the kindergarten environment.

Te Puna Ako Ki Totara Puku will acknowledge its student teachers, Michele Bourke and Joseph Rickard for the extra hours they volunteer each week at the kindergarten, providing welcome extra pairs of hands to the teachers. These are just some of the volunteers who will be acknowledged, as each of the 15 kindergartens in the Whanganui and Central Plateau regions have volunteers to thank for the support they provide in so many different ways.

Whānau Manaaki’s chairperson, Amy Weightman, says kindergartens struggle to maintain high quality services while not being properly funded by government. “Maintaining a 100% qualified teaching staff whilst only being funded for 80%, while keeping costs down to families, stretches the budget. Having gifted, talented and generous volunteers greatly relieves the pressure on our not-for-profit services. Thank you to all who have contributed.”

Some of the local Volunteers Recognised at AGM last night

Aramoho Kindergarten - Toni Clark.
Barsanti Kindergarten - Mary Kumeroa.
Central Kindergarten - Virginia Cameron.
Durie Hill Kindergarten -Christine Smith.
Gonville Kindergarten - Willie Robinson, Helen Brown and Norma.
Harriette Vine Kindergarten - Jayden Chant.
Marie McFarland Kindergarten - Jodannah Hina.
Maxwell & Districts Kindergarten - Andy Constable.
Putiki Kindergarten - Papa Peter Watson.
St Johns Hill Kindergarten - Steven Hessell, (Rachel’s husband).
Te Puna Ako Ki Tōtara Puku - WECELC - Michele Bourke and Joseph Rickard.
Wanganui East Kindergarten - Aaron King-Parkes and Lizzie Condliffe.

River City Press 17/10/19

(*) Last Reviewed: October 31, 2019

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