Date: June 2022
Helping Hand: Mitre 10 National Helping Hands Programme – Project Playground
Project: New playground build for Te Hapara School in Gisborne
The ecstatic expressions of Te Hapara School tamariki exploring their new playground shows the value of quality play spaces and why they are an essential part of the learning environment. Play allows children to experience fun, joy and laughter, while developing vital physical, cognitive and social skills, and with Covid disruption impacting children’s efforts and ability to socialise, creating spaces that encourage and inspire active play is more important for their wellbeing than ever.
With aroha one of its core values, Te Hapara School students pride themselves on the aroha they have for each other within their school community, and it is in their communal spaces where this really shines. As the Year 5 and 11 ‘Saltie Soarer Leaders’ from Te Hapara School wrote in their Project Playground entry submission:
‘Lots of community groups use our kura after school and during the weekends. We also welcome families to play on our playgrounds too because there are no exciting council playgrounds within walking distance of most of our attending families and their friends. We believe strongly in trust and believe that if our kura is always buzzing with happy people outside of school hours then less damage is likely to result from boredom. We promote this value and trust everyone in our community. It would be great if we could feel proud of what we have to share too.’
Mitre 10 worked with leading local design and installation company Playground People to ensure the playground would cater for the youngest tamariki to the oldest, with the aim of keeping children engaged in active play throughout their primary school years.
The playground in Gisborne is one of three built by Mitre 10 Helping Hands for the Project Playground campaign, following playground builds at Colwill School in West Auckland and South New Brighton School in Christchurch. All three playgrounds will not only benefit the school children, but the communities around them too.
Thanks to Mitre 10 Gisborne who supported the build at Te Hapara School and put on a sausage sizzle for the kids to celebrate the opening.