It’s been 10 years since Just Kids Community Preschool opened, and on 13 July 2013 the preschool celebrated its anniversary in style.
About 150 people from the local community joined in with the festivities, which consisted of a carnival complete with bouncy castles, donkey rides, mini jeep rides, My Whippy ice-cream, cake stall, sausage sizzle, splat-the-teacher and more. There was even a special guest performance from NZ’s Got Talent finalists Brian and Sarah: Brian’s mother Surita has worked for Just Kids for the past eight years. A fundraising auction on the day – supported by local businesses – raised more than $1200 to go into new resources for the kids.
Just Kids has grown significantly since it opened. In 2009 the preschool expanded to cater for a total of 147 children in two over 2-years-old rooms and one room for children under 2-years. Just Kids recently extended its hours of operation from 8am to 5pm. Just Kids centre manager Renee Watkinson says it’s great to have the preschool as an extension of Celebration Centre church.
“Many of our church families and families in the community benefit from our great premises and excellent staff. I am looking forward to this year and working on ways to promote and build our centre more.”
A couple of new Just Kids initiatives include hip-hop dance classes for 3 to 4-year-olds as part on an extension programme, and also the introduction of iPads and iPad Minis for use by the older children. “This is to aid children's learning and development,” said Renee. “The teachers are able to sit down with a child or a group of children and search the internet on a topic or something that the children are interested in. This helps extend their learning opportunities and also prepare them for school, where technology is readily available.”
Light it UP
About 600 people flocked to Celebration Centre to see Xpression Dance Studio’s end-of-year showcase on 13 December 2013.
All 80 students from the dance school - ranging in age from 3 to 45 - performed a variety of contemporary dance, ballet and hip-hop at the event, which told the tale of the last Christmas tree.
It was a visual experience comprised of dance, media and music with some extra input from volunteers involved in 412’s creative area.
The event also honoured those recognised by the school’s three tutors for their performances throughout the year.
Xpression Dance Studio is an initiative of Celebration Centre Church.