Bilingual kindergarten a mix of cultures
A new kindergarten program at Goodstart Crestmead - Third Avenue
is giving Samoan children access to a crucial early learning program with a focus on language and culture.
Recently launched, the kindergarten gives Samoan children the opportunity to prepare for school, through a fully accredited program.
Centre director Cathy Kenny said the new kindergarten room is run by two experienced Samoan speaking educators who will additionally focus on developing the language skills and cultural understanding of the children.
“In partnership with Hosanna Logan City and Logan Together we launched the kindergarten to provide a Samoan culture and language immersion program in a safe space for Samoan families who don’t normally access early learning,” she said.
“There is a large population of Samoan families in our area and a massively large proportion of Samoan children who don’t access kindergarten programs, so we hope this kindergarten program will help prepare these children for school.
“At the moment it is attended by Samoan children, but the program is open and inclusive of all families and includes educators who will be speaking and writing in both Samoan and English,” she said.
As an added extra to the unique immersion program, educators will work with a speech therapist, occupational therapist and child and family practitioner through the Goodstart Enhancing Children’s Outcomes program. Educators can work collaboratively with these professionals to share knowledge and meet the needs of all children.
“This is quite simply, a double layer of amazing for our families,” Mrs Kenny said.
The new kindergarten program was opened last week with a Samoan celebration that included traditional dancing and singing.
Logan Together director Matthew Cox said the new kindergarten program was based on community aspirations, organisational collaboration, and a willingness to think outside the box to create something which improves outcomes for children.
“The launch (of the kindergarten program) was such a joyous event which I felt immensely privileged to be a part of, and I am sure we will continue to hear more great stories as the kindy program kicks off,” he said.