Bilingual playgroup launched

Liam Cavanagh.
Liam Cavanagh.

Alexandra toddler Max Dwyer (14 months) enjoys himself at The Terrace School in Alexandra's first te reo Maori bilingual coffee and playgroup with (back, left) Constable Peter Rameka, Maori language support volunteer Louise McKenzie, and Waverley (2) and mum Kelly Radka (obscured) yesterday.

Children, parents, early childhood teachers, volunteers, and school staff and pupils celebrated the school's first Te Puna playgroup with kapa haka performances and a powhiri.

Parent and early childhood teacher Vanessa Mahaki, of Alexandra, said the new group was a good idea and it was important for young children to learn Maori at a young age.

Parent Jill Spooner, of Alexandra, was originally from the United Kingdom and said she loved all aspects of Maori culture, especially the legends and the songs, and it was a good opportunity for children to embrace the language and culture.

Organiser Isabel Radka said she was ''really pleased'' with the first informal playgroup and hoped it would continue to grow.

The bilingual playgroup would take place every Thursday at the school from 9am to 10.30am for parents and their children.

It would include activities and songs, and a fluent te reo speaker.

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