Children welcomed back to learning: 54 reasons kindergarten at Mooroopna
Children will soon be welcomed back to the 54 reasons kindergarten at Mooroopna thanks to some generous donors after flooding inundated parts of Shepparton in November 2022.
For lead teacher Monica, the homecoming at the initial site of the kindergarten is “just really going to be that final missing piece of being home”.
“For our families it’s going home. They’re going to feel like they belong and it’s their space. It’s their kinder…where they feel like they can grow even more,” she said.
Lee Joachim is the Regional Manager for 54 reasons Northern Victoria, and said the kindergarten plays a special role in the local community, having offered kindergarten service in the area since 1969, at first to the Aboriginal families and later opening up to the wider community in the 1970s.
“In this area in particular it has been a good focus and has driven our community to understand the importance of education in a child’s life,” Mr Joachim said.
“The importance of Mooroopna kindergarten to us today is that we know it as a safe place – [where children] are safe from harm and they’re being provided education.”
School readiness is a strong priority for the service, which focuses on the social and emotional component, getting children to be able to focus for longer periods, and offering them group and individual experiences in line with their interests.
“They really need to know how to pronounce those sounds correctly, how to recognise those letters and sounds to then be able to move forward with their reading,” Monica said.
Respect for culture and appreciation for First Nations heritage in the community is embedded in the day-to-day activities in the kinder. Children participate in a Welcome to Country, and are exposed to Indigenous resources that they use to learn and play.
Connection with families is also a priority, with kindergarten team leader Tiffany saying “what’s special about this kindergarten is the connection that all our staff have with the families and they know everything about these families and provide the best support to them to make sure that the children are getting the best and everything that they need.”
For Christine, a parent accessing the service, knowing that her children are having fun while learning is a precious gift.
“I see that they are learning and growing when they come home after a day of being at kindy. Like my youngest daughter, now she knows the days of the week she’ll sing it through.”
Christine is from a family that has a long history with the kindy, and attended herself when she was young. Five of her children have attended the kindergarten, and she still brings her youngest A’sya.
For all her children, she’s observed only one thing when they learn they’re coming to kindy.
“Excitement. They never want to stay home when they know it’s kindy time.”
“I just love it. It’s just a good atmosphere and everybody’s lovely here. I love it.”
Kindergarten at Mooroopna is delivered by 54 reasons, a part of the Save the Children Australia Group. Learn more here.
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