It is hard to believe that we are at the halfway mark for this wonderful program. Both children and mothers have successfully settled in and are actively engaged during the sessions. The program has brought a hive of activity with it, adding to the extraordinary atmosphere around the Centre.
Pit Gymnastics provide the play component which is 45 minutes of interactive play between mothers and children. It balances exercise and lots of ‘play’ using soft gym equipment. The morning tea break is an opportunity to relax, interact and discover new foods. As we have such a diverse cultural make-up in the group, there is a variety of new offerings every week and I am pleased to report that the children are very willing to try all sorts of new foods.
The final component of the program, facilitated by Spectrum, is 45 minutes of parenting workshops where the mothers are learning about the importance of play in children’s development plus connecting with their new communities. They also look at expectations of kindergartens and schools for their children and services that are available to them in their communities. Whilst the mothers are in the workshops the children are playing, drawing, singing and dancing with the child care workers provided by Whittlesea Community Connections.
Photos of the program speak for themselves. It really is an occasion to Play Learn and Connect!
The Play Learn Connect project is funded by the Department of Home Affairs Fostering Integration Grants program. The grants support new initiatives by not-for-profit organisations that will help migrants better integrate into Australian life through employment and community participation.