Red Letter Day
What a red letter day for Whatatutu that turned out to be. I borrowed from the infant rooms at the school the equipment for the centre, used physical education mats, a bench, some balls, art paper and jars of paint. What a thrill it was, with 14 parents and 19 children all having a wonderful time together.
Since then considerable finance has been raised through a dance, football matches and card evenings; people have made donations of equipment to the centre; weekend courses have been organised and proved successful; and monthly meetings are held at the homes of parents to assist with obtaining the Mother Helper Certificate and the Supervisor's Certificate. What about Dad? Dad has played his part too—assisted with fund-raising ventures, attended the centre's sessions, helped with the provision of equipment.
What about the children themselves, how have they reacted? Far removed from the shy, restrained little toddlers of nine months ago, they now enter into their activities and experiences with gusto. It gives great satisfaction to see them enjoying themselves as they move freely and naturally, speaking over real telephones, being truck drivers, washing the dolls and their clothes, making cakes for afternoon tea. They can tell for themselves when it is play centre day—they have worked it all out. On one day the big children come to school, and then after lunch on the next day—it's Play Centre. That's right, on Tuesday afternoon.
And what of the future? Our path to success has not been a clear one; we have had our problems and disappointments and we will continue to have some. But with a continuation of the fine spirit and enthusiasm now apparent in our community, the future is bright for the play centre movement at Whatatutu.