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Children helping children


Children helping children 27 November 2006

Toddling, walking, climbing, running – they are all ways children will be helping other children in a Crofton Downs park this week. (ED: Wed 29 Nov, 11am)

The children from Ngaio Playcentre are taking part in a Barnardos Big Toddle, one of more than 150 sponsored walks/events for under-five-year-olds taking place nationwide during November.

Organiser Bridget Thompson says the sponsored half-mile obstacle course in the park outside the Playcentre on Silverstream Road will be huge fun for the one- to four-year-olds who will take part.

“More than that, it gives them a chance to do something for others,” she says. “And that’s all part of what we’re trying to give them in our Playcentre, an awareness that they’re part of a bigger community and that it’s good to help each other however we can.”

Bridget says this kind of activity is great for the kids, who delight in active play out-of-doors. “Plus it’s always interesting to see how much more something means for them when the activity has a greater purpose.” Children who participate will receive a medal and certificate, while the money they raise will go to help Barnardos continue to provide its child-focused services.

These include home-based support for families under stress; parent education; supervision of contact visits between children and their non-custodial parents; and programmes for children affected by domestic violence. Last year Barnardos worked with more than 10,000 children and their families in communities across the country.

A small proportion of the funds raised will go back to Ngaio Playcentre, which is a licensed early childhood education centre serving children aged 0–6 in the Crofton, Ngaio, Khandallah, Churton Park area. Parents/caregivers act as volunteer teachers (with training), and run the centre together as a cooperative.

Playcentres are a unique New Zealand phenomenon, founded first in Wellington in the 1950s and still going strong in the early 21st century. They provide a practised and practical means of supporting parents as their children’s ‘first and best teachers’. All Playcentres are affiliated to the New Zealand Playcentre Federation, and Ngaio Playcentre belongs to the Wellington Association.


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