Story of region’s kindies to be told

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People wanting to learn more of the history of kindergartens in South Canterbury now have the opportunity to do so.

The South Canterbury Museum will open a new exhibition on Saturday celebrating the story of South Canterbury Kindergartens, which is marking its 75th anniversary.

The entire history is covered in the exhibition, from small beginnings in a church hall to the present day, where the association runs 12 kindergartens and plays a vital role in the lives of nearly 500 children.

Exhibition curator Chris Rapley said South Canterbury Kindergartens started out locally as a grassroots movement.

“It’s an amazing story how the community got in behind the movement and worked so hard to create the kindergartens. The kindergartens that they started are still vital to our communities today,” he said.

“I think it will be a popular exhibition because it will have a lot of nostalgia for people. There’s so many grown-up kindergarten kids out there.

“Also it will be a chance for people to learn about why kindergartens and early childhood education are so important learnt a lot developing the exhibition.”

Over the decades, the association had faced challenges and obstacles especially during the 1980s and 1990s while keeping the philosophy of kindergartens central.

Mr Rapley had enjoyed the chance to work on such a community based exhibition.

He had been greatly assisted in developing the exhibition by three experienced local kindergarten teachers, he said.

“They’ve been so generous and in providing the objects which are on display in the exhibition.”

As part of South Canterbury Kindergartens’ 75th anniversary there has been a book written on its history and the association is holding a jubilee event next month. Details about the jubilee can be found on the association’s website or Facebook page.