30 Years of Play at Gan Gani
To celebrate its 30th year of operation, Gan Gani Community Kindergarten hosted an afternoon of family fun at its Fig Tree Pocket location on Sunday, 4th August 2019.
Over two hundred people, representing different eras of the kindy’s 30-year history, gathered at this special birthday party to reminisce, reconnect and celebrate: founding members, community groups, past and present families and staff and members of the community.
No birthday would be complete without cake and presents: the official milestone was marked with a gift to the kindy from the Queensland Jewish Kindergarten Association of a ‘Buddy Bench’, representing a place of refuge or quiet in the outside environment for children to sit.
Special guests addressing the opening ceremony of the afternoon’s events included Mr David Paratz, founding member; Ms Claire Goldstein, Director/Teacher for the first 22 years; and Councillor James Mackay, Walter Taylor Ward.
Councillor Mackay acknowledged the ongoing dedication and involvement of the many sections of the community over the years that have made it the successful kindergarten that it is today.
Children were entertained with face painting, jumping castle and The Fabulous Lemon Drops, while enjoying the fantastic open spaces of Gan Gani’s natural open setting.
Gan Gani wishes to thank the Brisbane City Council, through their Community Grants Award, Cathy Lammie Property, Bright Consulting and the support of the Queensland Jewish Kindergarten Association for making this event a success.
Why Gan Gani Kindy?
Originally formed in 1989 as a playgroup for a growing Jewish community, Gan Gani means ‘Play Place’ in Hebrew.
Thirty years on, Gan Gani kindy is a service of excellence, recognised as Exceeding the National Standard for Early Childhood Education and Care, where ‘play’ is still fundamental in the educational program for 3 to 5 year-olds.
Since its inception in 1989 as the first ever full-time kindergarten and preschool following Jewish traditions in Queensland, Gan Gani has been providing pre-school aged children with a unique kindergarten experience.
Colleen Goldblatt, Acting Director, described what sets Gan Gani apart from other kindergartens.
“We offer a unique curriculum, which has at its core a respect and celebration of Jewish culture and tradition, learnt through stories, songs and cooking experiences” Ms Goldblatt said.
Gan Gani embraces diversity and welcomes all children, regardless of culture, and is active in connecting with community groups.
“We also aim to instill in children a sense of respect for and awareness of our First Nations’ cultures, and work closely with Indigenous Educators to embed this in our curriculum,” said Ms Goldblatt.
Children have the opportunity to grow and learn within a natural, ‘rural-like’ outdoor environment which supports a Life Garden, complete with chickens, worm farms, stingless bee hives, compost and fresh fruits and vegetables.
“This is the perfect setting to embed in our children a respect for the environment and an understanding of sustainability,” Ms Goldblatt said.