Toys for tots, thanks to FRRR
In the small town of Miles on the Western Downs, 340 kilometres west of Brisbane, the Murilla Kindergarten has recently purchased new resources to enable its kids to play, laugh and learn in a structured environment to build the confidence and skills required to enter school.
As the only Kindy in the Miles region, it services an increasing population due to the expansion of the coal seam gas industry throughout the shire. Students feed into the Kindy from small towns such as Drillham, Condamine and Guluguba. The Murilla Kindy presently supports 29 families and 43 children and employs two part-time teachers and two teacher aides.
In addition to the challenges proffered by the increase in student numbers, the Kindy is also catering to the specific learning requirements of one student who is autistic.
Nicole Cahill, who is a Director at Murilla Kindergarten, said that with the funding received through FRRR’s Small Grants for Small Rural Communities program they are now able to provide a variety of resources to give the children a range of learning experiences and increase the range of stimulating and specialised play resources to cater for all children, including those with special needs.
“Being in a rural and remote area, we didn’t have ready access to some of the specific resources we needed to successfully engage autistic children so that they can meet their individual educational goals,” Ms Cahill said.
The Murilla Kindergarten purchased 18 items of equipment totalling $4,848. Some of the specialised equipment includes foam building blocks for outdoor use, tactile discs, a water trough, sensory path boxes, foam wedges, smelling pots, a light box and boats for outdoor play. The Kindy was able to contribute $1,500 towards the equipment, with the remainder being funded from the FRRR grant.
In a further endeavour to ensure the children have the best learning opportunities possible, the Kindy has also submitted a separate application for funding to the Queensland Autism Association for a teacher aide.