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So many different people coming together to share a good time and offer a glimpse of their different cultures

 

 

Kidsfirst McKenzie’s Head Teacher Jane Hynes thought long and hard for a unique way to celebrate the Kidsfirst centenary at her kindergarten this year.

 

With the regular recognition by their kindy of cultural calendar events such as Chinese New Year and Samoan Language Week, she wondered about how they could further celebrate the diversity of the children at her kindergarten. The founders provided her with the inspiration she needed.

 

Sir J. R. McKenzie was the founder of her kindergarten, and was also an immigrant. He was born in Melbourne in 1876, and moved to New Zealand permanently in 1910, where he set up the McKenzie Trust in 1940. Kidsfirst McKenzie was funded by this trust, and opened in 1942 because of his generous donations.


In order to acknowledge his legacy, celebrate the diversity of Kidsfirst McKenzie and strengthen their local community, the children and their parents were invited to the very first ‘International Day’ at the kindergarten.

 

The aim of this day was for each culture to be acknowledged, respected and celebrated. Every child was asked to dress up in their own national costume, and come with a song from their country to teach the other children in an International Day Concert. Parents were encouraged to get involved by also dressing up and joining in.
Afterwards there was a shared lunch together, where dishes from each culture were displayed and enjoyed together.

 

Jane and the other teachers were delighted to see many different countries represented throughout the course of the morning, like the Philippines, Columbia, Pakistan, Ireland, Bhutan, China, India, Japan, Spain, Samoa and Korea.

Jane said that the best part for her was the involvement of the families. She said many of them remarked to her afterwards that they had learned a lot as well, seeing other cultures’ costumes, hearing their languages and eating their traditional foods. 

 

Some parents and grandparents took time off work to join in the festivities and stayed for a long while afterwards to chat to each other.

 

One of the Dads made a DVD of the morning concert and put that together, so that the children can relive their experiences time and again.

Below are just a few pictures of the event.

 


 


 


 


 

 


 

KIDSFIRST KINDERGARTENS ARE A NOT FOR PROFIT ASSOCIATION THAT HAS DEVELOPED AND MAINTAINED KINDERGARTENS IN CHRISTCHURCH, CANTERBURY AND ON THE WEST COAST FOR OVER 100 YEARS - AS THE PLACE LOCAL KIDS COME TO LEARN, PLAY AND HAVE FUN.



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kidsfirst McKenzie celebrated Founders Day by having their very own ‘International Day’.

 

The children and their parents were invited to dress up in clothing from their own cultures, and come with a song from home and a plate of something special from their country to share for morning tea.



 

 

 

 


Learning outcomes:

International Day was about fostering respect and understanding, and acknowledging and celebrating the diversity within the Riccarton community.

Because families were invited for the whole morning and a meal together, this meant that they were given the chance to interact outside of the hectic pick ups and drop offs that often happen around their work.
 
Parents spent time together and Head Teacher Jane Hynes said that there was a lot of mingling, which strengthened the extended community of Kidsfirst McKenzie.

With two thirds of the children attending Kidsfirst McKenzie from a country other than New Zealand, this was a great way for diversity to be learned about, and for the children to have a chance to share with others about their own culture.
 
Because of the success of Kidsfirst McKenzie’s International Day and the overwhelmingly positive reception they received from children and parents, the team have decided to hold the same event on that day every year from now on.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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