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We had a great Annual General Meeting at the Upper Hutt Cossie Club on Tuesday night.
We celebrated the contribution of Board members who were stepping down from the Board – Sarah Campbell, Julie Crawley, Shana La’ulu, and Pamela Malcom. Pamela and Shane had served as co-chairs in the first year that He Whānau Manaaki was in place, and since then, Pamela has lead the Board as Chair. All four people have made a significant contribution to the success of He Whānau Manaaki and in particular the strength of its governance function.
We also welcomed Monika, Jodi, Amy and Iona To’omaga onto the Board, and welcomed back Amy Weightman who was re-elected.
This was the first year that we have adopted a system whereby we hold our AGM in an area and invite the kindergartens in that area to nominate a volunteer who has contributed to their kindergarten. So all eleven Upper Hutt Kindergartens nominated a volunteer and we celebrated them at the AGM.
Each volunteer was presented with a certificate, card, voucher, and flowers; and the narrative about their contribution was read out. It was fantastic to see families, staff, and board members sharing the fantastic things that happen in kindergarten.
There was much laughter and a few tears, as people realised the significance of the relationships that people shared through kindergarten and the contribution that everyone made. Throughout the evening, a slide show of different kindergartens and children engaged in learning was played, and this was much appreciated by the volunteers and their supporters who had not necessarily been aware of the diversity and the learning that goes on in our services. The night was finished by one of the volunteers who stood and said (I’m paraphrasing): “I went to kindergarten (over 50 years ago) and I smelt, ate and sh_t playdough. Now I see all the great stuff that kids do today at kindy, magnificent!”
The profiles of each of the Volunteers are as follows:
Robyn has two daughters at Birchville Kindergarten. They have both moved on to Birchville School now and each week Robyn comes back to support teacher workload by collating such things as: Chalk orders; Abacus calendars and Scholastic Book Club orders. She takes away our much loved books and returns them mended. Even though she doesn’t have children here anymore Robyn is in every week looking for ways to support us. It’s people like Robyn who make all the difference to us being able to provide quality kindergarten. Robyn works in a thankless, quiet way – gets the stuff done and we are so appreciative of the quiet and faithful way she works for us each week.
Vic has had both her older Son Ryan with us and her daughter Kyrah who are now both at school. She has been an unbelievable help and support for our kindergarten from leading parenting programmes, sourcing numerous grants as well as teaching some kaiako how to apply for grants, along with another parent, organised and ran both our quiz nights as well as organizing and participating in raffles, sausage sizzles and other fundraising ventures. She organised and collectively led our Santa Parade ventures, one of which we came first in and she nominated us for our Wellington Community award which we were also successful in. Her energy has also been put in to almost anything else you could imagine and we are so incredibly lucky to have had her with us for the past 4.7 years and are forever grateful for all she has done so we would love for her to be recognised.
Tim sees things that need to be done at kindergarten and offers to help out, he is generous with his time and skills and we appreciate his talents and kindness. Tim will help out with anything we ask of him, from mending toys, helping to beautify the environment or move something we can’t manage. Tim even gave up his time to come along to help out and supervise the team from BNZ Closed for Good recently when they removed an old unsafe shed, and he rebuild a brand new shed for us.
Tim is one of our friendly Dads who always takes time to greet other parent’s, Dad’s in particular, and make them feel welcome at kindergarten, it is great for our kindergarten to have the support of this wonderful man who is confident in our teaching abilities and is happy to share his thoughts about kindergarten and the benefits of early learning.
He is the gentleman who sits at the end of our driveway selling his wooden toys and furniture. He has become part of our family over the last few years.
He comes in before work and shares stories with us, has a laugh lifts our spirits and then he wanders off back down the drive way to be greeted by all our children as they come in. He has become everyone’s Granddad, and often has helped out tired mums by just sharing a smile. On days he’s away due to sickness weather or holiday he always phones me and requests sick leave and asks for leave without pay. When he’s not here I get asked about 40 times a day if he’s ok.
Des has fixed our wooden toys without charge, he has donated wooden toys like the elephant rocking horse, and bit and pieces, he cannot do enough for us or the community. He is 89 years young… and he is part of our team.
. Jenny has been involved at Heretaunga Kindergarten over the last 4 years and continues to be involved as her youngest two children are still attending. Jenny is involved in a number of different ways – working bees, organising and running fundraisers, regular parent help, collecting mail, end of term cleaning, coming on trips, watering gardens over the term break, taking art classes for us at Expressions, promoting whanau involvement amongst new parents, advocating for us at playgroup and in the community… the list goes on. Having Jenny as part of the kindergarten makes our jobs as teachers so much easier, as she just gets on and does these tasks which is fantastic!
Kellie has contributed significantly to Irmgard Ritchie kindergarten. Her children Corey and Tate are currently attending our kindergarten. As a parent, she is actively involved in our parent support group being the chairperson and fundraising officer. She has done so much for our kindergarten such as getting local businesses to donate for our kitchen upgrade or items for fundraising. She regularly comes to kindergarten, helping the teachers out and does a lot of washing for us. She organised some of the fundraising activities in the kindergarten in the past and at present (Kindergarten Disco, raffles, movie night and Calendars).
We appreciate her support and contribution at Irmgard Ritchie Kindergarten.
Bill is the husband of one of our relievers, so doesn’t have children at the kindergarten but is so involved and is integral to who we are. Bill takes time off work to be our Father Xmas at our Xmas party. He has done this for many years.
. Donated lots of resources ie books, bikes for our toddlers, Jigsaws, money towards resources,
. Has brought his motorbike and big truck in for the children to see
. In general anything that Liz knows we need help with or need he is there to assist.
We so appreciate is help and the way he just quietly goes about doing it.
Rachel Middleton as a parent/volunteer who has contributed significantly to Silverstream. Rachel's four children all came through Silverstream and she was on the committee the whole time! She helped at every event and could never do enough for us.
Brenda Rennie has been involved with Trentham Kindergarten for over 35 years, as a parent, grandparent, chairperson of committee, reliever and now as a volunteer.
Brenda is a selfless, caring, enthusiastic and hardworking woman who give of her time each week to do a multitude of jobs. She makes resources, does our laundry, cleans the environment, gathers up the recycling, greets whanau and talks with the children. Brenda also loves to attend any social gathering and working bees which the kindergarten holds for our community. Brenda never complains but always is positive and helpful.
She is our real life Superwoman and we so appreciate the work she does for us!!
We have been incredibly fortunate this year to have the support from Marijun Hogue, mother to Germain and Shea, at Totara Park Kindergarten. Marijun frequently stays at Kindergarten during session to support the teachers and role modelling to the children how we show respect for the Kindergarten environment. Marijun often supports the teachers by tidying up after morning kai and allowing the teachers to work with the children during this time.
Marijun often surprises us with her delicious baking as well. We are very grateful to Marijun for her support, she is a modern day wonder woman.
Dick Farrel lives by kindergarten and keeps an eye out on the place. He makes sure that there are no unwanted visitors after hours. He also brings us so many amazing treasures!!! Old bones, awesome posters, signs, books, a picnic table and the list goes on. These support to make our kindergarten a rich and diverse learning environment. It reminds us that kindergarten is so much part of our community and having a neighbour like Dick enriches who we are.
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