Vol­un­teer army vi­tal to suc­cess

The Tribune (NZ) - - COMMUNITY - ALI­SON RUDZKI,

Con­sid­er­ing the ex­tent of the flood­ing through­out our wider and neigh­bour­ing re­gions on June 20, Ruahine Kinder­garten As­so­ci­a­tion was ex­tremely lucky that we only had to tem­po­rar­ily close one kinder­garten.

In the week where the na­tion cel­e­brated our vol­un­teers it was poignant that many of our staff, fam­i­lies, and friends gave up their Sun­day, Mon­day and Tues­day to clean up the flood­ing af­ter­math at Fox­ton Kinder­garten.

From sand­bag­ging, clean­ing out sheds and the ve­randa, emp­ty­ing the sand­pit, dis­in­fect­ing toys and equip­ment, wa­terblast­ing the prop­erty with dis­in­fec­tant, ap­ply­ing lime to the grass and bark, and dis­in­fect­ing in­ter­nal ar­eas, to mov­ing fur­ni­ture and re­sources – there is no doubt the kinder­garten would not have been ap­proved for re­open­ing so quickly with­out the help of our un­flap­pable and hard­work­ing vol­un­teers.

At kinder­garten, vol­un­teers are al­ways welcome and are cru­cial to our suc­cess. Thanks to our 296 vol­un­teers, who pro­vide an av­er­age of 191 hours to our 24 kinder­gartens ev­ery week, we are able to de­liver qual­ity, af­ford­able ed­u­ca­tion to our young learn­ers.

Clean­ing up af­ter a nat­u­ral dis­as­ter is a very rare oc­cur­rence. In­stead, our vol­un­tary roles typ­i­cally in­clude any­thing from gar­den­ing, odd jobs, read­ing and work­ing with chil­dren, to par­tic­i­pat­ing on kinder­garten com­mit­tees and in par­ent groups and or­gan­is­ing fundrais­ers.

Matariki cel­e­bra­tions are a great ex­am­ple of how, with thanks to our vol­un­teers, kinder­gartens can bring a whole com­mu­nity to­gether.

For Hokowhitu Kinder­garten’s hangi, 18 par­ents helped pre­pare food that had been do­nated by the kinder­garten’s fam­i­lies and sup­port­ers. The hangi was laid down by the Te Huna fam­ily, with sup­port from their net­works and Tai Wananga Tu Toa, help­ing the kinder­garten to feed 150 peo­ple.

PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Vol­un­teers help dish out the kai from the Hokowhitu Kinder­garten’s Matariki hangi.

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