Secret to success of Brooklyn’s school holiday programme
By LIAM CAVANAGH
BROOKLYN’S school holiday programme has filled up quickly and parents are crediting its success to childcare manager, Adam Hendry.
The programme at the Brooklyn Community Centre attracts children from as far as the Hutt Valley and Island Bay.
Activities on offer include baking, games, a model and collector’s day, as well as outings to the movies, sports days, laser force and cardboard world, where kids build anything from forts to apartments out of cardboard.
The programme’s popularity means Mr Hendry is still fielding phone calls during the holidays from parents trying to get their kids in.
“We had lots of people ringing me trying to get in, but we’re only accredited for up to 60 kids as part of our funding,” he says.
Penny Gifford, mother of two, has been bringing her kids since last year and says the programme is affordable and well run.
“I know that numbers have really grown from years past. That’s to do with Adam. He is really well liked by parents and children in the community,” she says.
Penny Gifford says it is important in her community for parents to have a sense of security leaving their kids in the hands of someone else.
Sharelle Peck has been bringing her kids to the centre for the last five years and agrees Adam has been instrumental to the centre’s success.
She says he is a celebrity as far as she’s concerned.
While Mr Hendry has been at the centre he has been able to get funding increased to allow more kids to take part in the programmes.
“We got the limit increased from 50 to 60 kids which has been hugely beneficial to the community,” he says.
Funding comes from OSCAR, the governments out of school care and recreation programme which funds school holiday programmes and after and before school care.
In the almost three years Mr Hendry has been with the centre, he has not had to put prices up.
“We just keep finding clever ways to keep the kids really happy in an affordable way,” he says.
The centre also offers an after school programme.
The centre has strong support from the council and community, and Mr Hendry is thinking of creating a second programme for the 10-14 year olds.
For further information about the programme visit Brooklyn Community Centre’s web page.