Play Days for the whānau at Linden School
1 June 2021
Over the school holidays, community Play Days are hosted in various suburbs by the council and Wellington City Mission. Our Nuku Ora Healthy Active Learning team promotes these to our schools and lends a hand at the events. We noticed that some of our lower decile schools were not being represented despite the sessions being local, no cost, and free kai. One of the Community Days was held in Linden, but no students from Linden School turned up! Our team wanted to find a way to engage the school and wider whānau with this activity.
Using a Community Connector and Advisor collaboration approach we brought together Linden School and Wellington City Mission, a provider who received Tū Manawa funding for a Play Trailer from Nuku Ora and also recently opened up a Sports Bank at the local community centre. We organised a Play event to be hosted at Linden School during school hours and used the last hour of school to ensure all tamariki would access the opportunity and continued to as an after-school activity. This encouraged whānau to see their tamariki playing when collecting their child, provide an opportunity for them to join in the fun, and also for staff to start making connections and conversations with the whānau.
Wellington City Mission provided the equipment, free kai, a BBQ and fruit for everyone to enjoy. We also used this opportunity for an employee of Wellington City Council to approach whānau to discuss and sign them up for a Leisure Card, which gives people great discounts to recreation facilities and recreation programmes.
At the end of the event Wellington City Mission left their play gear for Linden School to keep so their play opportunities could continue, as well as some free swim passes for the school to give to their students. This event as a perfect opportunity to demonstrate Schools and Kura strengthening their connections with their wider community, including whānau and local health and physical activity providers.
The whole school community had such a great time at this event it will now be a termly event held on Wednesday Week 5. The set week and day will provide consistency for the whānau and in the long run, hopefully, start seeing more and more whānau turn up and engaging with the school outside of this event.