NEW DECK FOR KOHANGA REO
Te Kohanga Reo o Waiwhakaiho is a New Plymouth kohanga reo (Māori language preschool), catering for up to 30 children aged 0-5 years.
"We're a Māori-orientated establishment that's been running here in Fitzroy for well over 30 years now," said Waimarie Manukonga, Funding Coordinator.
“Our stress levels were high because we had the tamariki running around in such a confined space. We didn't have enough room, so we needed to expand our learning area. We were constantly fundraising with things like car boot sales, sausage sizzles and raffles until we applied to Toi."
Funding from Toi Foundation enabled Te Kohanga Reo o Waiwhakaiho to extend their decking area to create an indoor-outdoor play space and rebuild a fence and gate so they can now access the next-door playing field.
"We didn’t have enough space to cater for our full complement of children before. Having the extra playing space has meant we could increase our roll to 25, which has been awesome.
The stress levels have come down for our kaimahi (staff) because of the extra space. Now we have tables and chairs, toys, water play and painting equipment out on the deck. We're trying to start a garden out there, too," said Waimarie.
"We've also got the space to split the groups. It's allowed our older kids to go outside and paint or play with chalk without the little kids coming over and stealing their things. It can also be a calm space to sit. They've been doing a lot of bird watching out there lately," said Cheynne Manukonga, Administrator.
"It's impacted our current whānau so much, and it's going to impact future whānau, too. We are now in a position to maximise our ratio, and continue providing a great, awesome Māori learning space for our tamariki."