Preschool to offer outdoors learning with garden and deck through grant

FUN: Yvette Quinn, Rick Colless MLC and preschool director Sonya Murphy watch Harper Carr, Amber Onley, Knox Menzies and Isaac Carr. Photo: JUDE KEOGH 0702jkcolless3
FUN: Yvette Quinn, Rick Colless MLC and preschool director Sonya Murphy watch Harper Carr, Amber Onley, Knox Menzies and Isaac Carr. Photo: JUDE KEOGH 0702jkcolless3

Orange Preschool Kindergarten is going to take part of its learning outdoors with the help of a government grant.

The preschool has been awarded $14,945 from the state government’s Quality Learning Environments program.

Orange preschool director Sonya Murphy said the money would go toward building a deck and gardens outside for the children to play and learn in.

“The outside play environment is just as important as the indoor environment,” she said.

“It is important for us to provide meaningful and thoughtful experiences for the children.”

Ms Murphy said they would build a vegetable garden and an indigenous garden.

“We can help them understand the cycle of life through a garden,” she said.

That would include making compost.

The grant was announced by the parliamentary secretary for Western NSW Rick Colless.

“Preschools will be able to use this funding to cover items like shade cloths so children can play safely outdoors, kitchen gardens to teach children where their food comes from, or an outdoor jungle gym to encourage a child’s hand-eye co-ordination,” he said.

Nine preschools in the Orange electorate, including Cudal Community Children’s Centre and the Molong Early Learning Centre will share in $113,635.

The Play Learn LiveBetter Preschool in Dalton Street received $3671.

Team leader Peter Callaghan said the money would be used to buy a fence for a planned playground.

Mr Colless also announced four grants for NAIDOC Week activities totalling $7500.

The Orange Aboriginal Corporation Health Service was awarded $3000.

That will go toward hosting an open day at the Aboriginal Medical Service during NAIDOC Week in November.

That will also coincide with the official opening of its community cultural garden.

Minister for Early Childhood Education and Aboriginal Affairs Sarah Mitchell said it was opportunity to recognise the achievements of Aboriginal people.

NAIDOC Week is celebrated across Australia next week, but because of Orange’s cold winter weather our celebration is not until November.

“I am particularly excited for this year’s theme, ‘Because of her, we can,” Ms Mitchell said.

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