Kia ora koutou,
I hope everyone is staying safe and well during our current noho taratahi (self isolation). Well done to everyone who is staying safe at home to help curb the spread of the virus, and once again, a huge thanks to all of those people who are still working to keep our essential services going; we all hugely appreciate and value what you are doing.
An update on our staff, who are at home and finding various ways to keep occupied. We are all keeping in touch, and through the sharing of photos on Google Hangouts we are now more familiar with various staff pets, including Michelle’s dog, Max; Kristen’s gorgeous dalmatian, Doug, who keeps guard over their teddy in the window; Natalie’s dog, Missy; Gail’s dog, Digby; and Lisa’s dog, Snow, who sports a dashing yellow raincoat in inclement weather! Everyone is well and keeping in good spirits.
I am managing to keep myself busy, and I’m ensuring that I stay well connected with my family and friends, both here in New Zealand and abroad. Luckily I live very close to Island Bay, so I can take a walk down to the sea when I begin to feel a bit hemmed in.
Through my regular contact with whānau and friends in the UK and Spain, I am reminded daily of how lucky we are here in New Zealand. Although the situation is very serious here, we have not reached similar points of crisis as some other countries. We have moved quickly to take tough action, and I am very grateful for that. I am thankful that we are all taking this seriously, and hopeful that this will work to stop the spread of the virus. Kia kaha, koutou, stay strong and keep going.
On my latest visit to the supermarket a few days ago, I was struck by the fact that my local, smaller supermarket does not have a food bank donation unit. My usual habit when I do my weekly shopping at a larger market, is to buy a few extra items and put them into the City Mission food bank unit. Now that I am using a smaller supermarket I realise that I have not been doing this, at a time when I know this is needed more than ever. Food banks across the country are reporting an increase in usage during this difficult time, and it is important that any of us who can help do so. Please give a thought to donating some additional items to your local food bank on your next supermarket trip. If, like me, a change in normal routine means this is not possible, you can donate online. Here are several groups you can donate through: Wellington City Mission Online Donation The Foodbank Project
I hope that you are all doing well and that your children are happy and well, despite the trying circumstances. Please do stay in touch with each other and with us. Feel free to have your child/ren (or yourself!) email whānau teachers or me with your news or funny stories, or add some news to their Community Space slides. One thing I do want to stress with you all is that the online learning that was sent home last week is one way to keep up with learning whilst we are all staying safe at home. It is ONE way, not the only way. Please feel free to choose to follow all of the learning or only some of it, and please do feel free to follow other learning opportunities that present themselves. The most important thing right now is that your child/ren feel safe, loved, and engaged in things they enjoy. All sorts of activities and tasks at home present fabulous learning opportunities for children, from helping to make dinner to building a compost bin or creating a new game for your family to play. Please don’t try to recreate the school day for your child at home, as the kind of focused 1-1 learning that will be happening at home is done for short periods of time at school - it is not done for multiple hours at a time.
As I detailed last week, we have just finished the first week of school holidays. In a little while, a new pack of home learning will be sent home ready for the first week of Term 2, which begins on April 15th. In the meantime, feel free to use the ideas in last week’s pack of learning to carry on with some learning activities, if you would like to do so.
Take care and stay safe. Kia atawhai - be kind.