From little acorns to great oaks...
Hargest Crescent was Sydenham Kindergarten when it first opened in March 1912, but it later became Hargest Crescent Kindergarten
on the 2nd of July 1979.
Like many of our kindergartens, the community had to rally behind the idea before a kindergarten could be established in the area.
"The building of Sydenham Free Kindergarten was a notable achievement, showing how great oaks may from little acorns grow. It required eight years of unremitting effort to raise, in small sums, the amount required with which to build... Small sales of work, of produce, small card parties, and sometimes the larger event of a fair, formed the principal means by which the £1000 was raised. It is worthy of note that, up to the time when the committee had £850 in hand, no cash donation of more than 5/- had been received."
And even from the beginning of our kindergarten Association, we understood the need for qualified teachers and a focus on learning...
“The aim of the Association is to open kindergartens where children, between the ages of 3 and 5, may be taught by teachers and students specially trained in child physiology and child hygiene. In kindergarten, in the most receptive years of his life, a child quickly learns to be self reliant, observant, thoughtful and able to co-operate with their fellows. By means of play, and play materials, he acquires a liking for manual occupations, thereby strengthening his mental, physical and moral powers. By the teacher who thoroughly understands his requirements, he is taught to love truth and those qualities that later stand for civic harmony. It is the hope of our Association that we may be able to bring every child within the beneficial influence of kindergarten training."
Monica A. Thacker, President.
Sydenham Kindergarten 21st Birthday Publication.
Here are some of our photos from days gone past. Simply click on them to see a larger image and scroll through the gallery or watch the slideshow...
Our website uses material from the Canterbury Westland Kindergarten Association's own archives, Kindergarten Chronicles and other CWFKA publications, and those sourced from the kindys themselves. Unless otherwise noted, we believe all photographs are those of the kindergarten association and sincerely apologise if we have used any images inadvertently, without appropriate credits or permissions. If so, please advise us so we can rectify the situation.
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.