Mt Maunganui Preschoolers Give Christmas Gifts to Children in Need ♡
The pre-schoolers at Olive Tree Education and Care, in Arataki/Bayfair, have been learning about the true spirit of Christmas this festive season.
Parents from the childcare centre have donated presents for the Salvation Army Christmas Appeal and the three and four year olds delivered them in person to the Salvation Army Community Centre on Eversham Road last week.
This initiative has been established so that parents from the local community who are struggling financially can come to the Salvation Army ‘present room’ and choose a present for each of their children without having to pay a cent. Families are referred by local agencies and community organisations and are offered a private and confidential Christmas shopping session.
Philip Brickell, the Head-Teacher at Olive Tree Education and Care, says his childcare centre supports this community initiative as a teaching opportunity for their three and four year olds.
“The children are learning Christmas is not just about getting presents but also about helping other children like themselves who might not be getting anything.” says Philip. “Our society these days is very much ‘me, me, me’. So we’re trying to teach the kids that they are really valued, and loved and special – and so are the other people around us. Part of our vision is show Christ’s love to our community.”
Parents at Olive Tree have been buying presents during December and putting them around the Christmas tree in the centre foyer. Philip says that most of the children understand the concept of what they are doing “We got all the donated presents out at mat time last week and talked to the kids about what we were doing with them.”
The children then each took a present and walked them around to the Salvation Army base on Eversham Road.. “It’s completely voluntary, so the fact that we got so many presents from the families in our centre is awesome,” says Philip.
The team at the Salvation Army spoke to the kids to thank them for their presents and to explain how they would be given to families in need. The children were each given an ice-block and introduced to ‘the big elves’ – Salvation Army volunteers who wrap all the donated presents.
VISIT OLIVE TREE EDUCATION AND CARE
At Olive Tree, Education and Care in Bayfair Mount Maunganui, you’ll find happy children in a nurturing environment, enjoying genuine relationships with caring teachers who facilitate creative play and quality learning experiences.
Our centre is led by a male head-teacher who facilitates a fun learning programme where boys can be boys and girls can do anything! Parents love the spacious and caring babies and toddlers unit. We care for children aged 6 months – 5 years.