Youngsters keep memories alive at Mangerton
Remembrance Day has taken on a very special meaning for the children of Goodstart Mangerton
For the past two years, staff and children from the centre have embarked on an excursion to the Figtree Bowling Club for the annual Remembrance Day service.
Centre director Fiona Veld said the excursions were a much anticipated event on the centre’s calendar and provided an opportunity to connect with the wider community.
She said children had been introduced to both ANZAC and Remembrance Day and the related commemorations.
Educator Narelle Ahling has spent many hours reading picture books and sharing cooking experiences like making ANZAC biscuits with the children along with the help of some of the centre’s grandparents.
“The excursions are a great way for children to spend time with members of our community who are from a different generation. The children have also participated in the minute silence, laid wreaths and listened to the Ode of Remembrance,” Narelle said.
“We hope that by learning about the significance of the day at a young age children will develop respect and appreciation for what it stands for.
Children at the centre have read “The Poppy” by Australian author Andrew Plant which is based on the connection between the French village of Villers-Bretonneux and the state of Victoria.
The story tells of Australian school children from Victoria who helped raise money to rebuild the village school after the war and the bond that remains to this day between the two countries.
The village’s re-built school was named the Victoria School, and features a plaque that says it is "proof of their love and goodwill towards France". The school’s playground and blackboards also carry a message saying "Do not forget Australia".
Goodstart Mangerton has made connections with a nursery school in the French village and have sent handmade poppies and some Australian books, translated to French in an attempt to share some local culture with the children of Villers-Bretonneux.
To tie in with this experience the families at Goodstart Mangerton have also been collecting items to send care packages to Australian troops and service dogs overseas.