A very busy week this week - starting on Tuesday with the visit to Kindergarten of Katherine and her Guide Dog Austin. Katherine is blind, but this is not visibly apparent - she explained to the children that everything looks foggy to her, and that she was not able to see their faces, or read their names. She told the children there are various ways to help blind people - she showed them a white cane, magnifying glasses, some with lights on them, magnifying sheets and bars, braille writing, and of course having a guide dog. She explained how Austin was able to help her and make sure she was safe - he follows her instructions as to where she wants to go, and she holds the handle on his special harness (like holding somebody's hand), while he guides her to where she wants to go - he makes sure she negotiates roads and traffic lights safely, finds chairs for her, finds elevator controls for her, and helps her negotiate railway stations as she travels by train. The children were able to put on special glasses which illustrated how some people's eyes are affected, and were able to pat Austin when Katherine took off his harness and said they could - he was a friendly dog who loved being patted. The children also learnt how to behave around Guide Dogs or other working dogs - very quietly and calmly, not calling out or interfering with them, and it is nice to smile at them. This was a wonderful, valuable, hands on learning experience for the children.
As we were having Grandparents or very Special Friends Day on Friday - the children cooked food during the week for us to all eat together - lemon slices and chocolate slices - it was very hard not to lick their fingers, but when finished and iced they were put into the fridge for us to share on Friday.
Then Friday came - we celebrated one of the children's Birthdays first, then at 10.45 a.m. invited in all our visitors - every child there was represented in some way which was wonderful - some even had 2 or 3 Grandparents, some had special friends or relatives, one very clever child had a photo of his Grandparents who live in England - what a great idea. The room was very busy and very crowded, buzzing with activity as the children showed their visitors some of the things we do at Kindergarten. When we reached the end of the morning, we all helped to pack up and then we sat on the mat and sang one of our favourite songs "There was a tree", then we all had story together before everybody went home. It was such a happy day!
What will happen next week?
Group A Educators - Margot, Ann and Lisa.