Western Leader : December 7th 2010
21 WESTERN LEADER, DECEMBER 7, 2010 NEWS Blue Frog is approaching the end of its first year of operation. What a roller-coaster ride it has been! Owners, mother and daughter Bernadette and Teresa, say it has been busy, exciting, stressful and fun. The centre filled up very quickly and one of the greatest challenges was finding quality caring staff that fitted the centres philosophy and standards. In the early days, we opted to use a lot of agency relieving teachers as we held out to find just the right people for the permanent positions. Bernadette says that she now has a full roster of qualified teachers and teachers in training and is really thrilled with the teachers that work at the centre and are proud of the great team that they have become. Blue Frog has had some great outings and events during the year. The children went on a bus and train trip around Auckland as part of their studies on transport, they went to Butterfly Creek and the Zoo. The parent involvement in these trips was outstanding. We had a fathers' night and were quite blown away by the huge turnout of fathers (and grandfathers) that came along to see what their children do during the day at our early childhood centre. Bernadette, whose background is in primary teaching, runs a very structured four year old class each morning to prepare the children for school. This is very popular with both children and parents and is particularly important now that children can opt to stay in early childhood until six years old. It has been wonderful watching our children grow says Teresa. Our babies that started with us unable to walk or in some cases sit up, are now bouncing toddlers. We can learn so much from children. We have a multicultural centre and all the children learn from each other and we learn from them what it means to see no barriers. Many of our toddlers are turning two which does put a little pressure on our over twos area as they move up leaving us with limited places available. However, it has opened up some places in our under twos area, so if you are looking for a place for your baby next year, we would love to hear from you. Please feel free to call into our centre at any time. We are at 250 Blockhouse Bay Rd, just up from the Tiverton roundabout on the city side. If you would like to know more about us, please phone us on 8281525 BLUE FROG Early Childhood Education Centre Volunteers needed for Christmas lunch By NICOLA MURPHY Feeling festive: Doris Topia attends VisionWest's Baptist Health Homecare Christmas lunch every year and has a delightful time. Photo: NICOLA MURPHY Doris Topia hasn't been so active since she had a stroke 11 years ago and spends a lot of time at home. That is why she enjoys the VisionWest Baptist Home Healthcare Ser- vice's Christmas function so much. She'll be there this year too. The event is on December 9 at Glen Eden Baptist Church auditorium. For many home healthcare service cli- ents it is the only Christmas celebration they will have. Mrs Topia says she enjoys the lunch every year. The day is made up of a Christmas lunch, singing and other performances from com- munity groups and gift- giving. Each client receives a small present. Service general man- ager Ian Yost says the organisation holds the event every year to bring all its clients together. It gives us a chance to bring everyone together in one place to have some fun and celebrate the time of year,'' he says. The function caters for more than 300 clients, their families and care workers. We try to involve the community as much as we can,'' Mr Yost says. This could be through performances, helping with catering, or transporting clients to and from the event. Mrs Topia is looking forward to this year's lunch. The food's delicious,'' she says. I always tell myself I'm not going to eat that much but then I come home and I can't eat tea because I'm too full,'' she says. I look forward to my outings.'' VisionWest Baptist Home Healthcare wel- comes volunteers who would like to help. Call 813-0133. History inspires mountain feast Picnic please: Eli MacKenzie, 9, shows the flax basket he made and muffins to share with his classmates at Hakari on Henry's Hill. Photo: LIZ MARCH By NICOLA MURPHY Children from Titirangi Primary School got a break from their normal classroom routine with a trip up Mt Atkinson to share a traditional meal and learn about the mountain. The event, called Hakari on Henry's Hill, was organised by Auck- land Council artist in residence Maureen Lander. She researched the area for her piece in an upcoming exhibition at Lopdell House called Where Are We? Dr Lander produced a cloak titled Mantle for a Small Maunga which relates to the history of Mt Atkinson. Room 16 learned how to make flax baskets and the following day walked up the mountain with Dr Lander, musician John Geddes who provided music for the occasion, park rangers and staff from Lopdell House. Dr Lander had built a hakari, a Maori stage to share feasts on. The students shared picnic food and after- wards learned more about the history of the area through storytelling and music. Teacher Stephanie Mills says the children learned a lot which tied in with their classroom topic of past, present and future. They learned Maori protocol such as welcom- ing and the whole idea of hakari. They got a lot out of it,'' she says. The Where Are We? exhibition celebrates the launch of a revised edition of AW Reed's book Place Names of New Zealand. It features work from prominent artists includ- ing Dick Frizzell and Colin McCahon. Where Are We? is open at Lopdell House from Friday.
December 3rd 2010
December 9th 2010