Playgroup of the Month: Ashmont Playgroup

Thu 02-Aug-18

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Ashmonth Playgroup is a community playgroup that delivers school readiness to pre-kindergarten children and brings Aboriginal families together. They also preserve the Aboriginal culture and provide some basic healthcare to everyone who attends the playgroup meetings.

Dedicated to the Aboriginal families in Wagga Wagga, the Ashmont Playgroup has been elected as the playgroup of the month. This dynamic playgroup caters for the local Aboriginal community, with a strong focus on the preservation of the Aboriginal culture and school readiness for the children.

Let’s meet this playgroup and get to know more about their activities.

How did the Ashmont Playgroup start?

The Ashmont Playgroup was founded two and half years ago with the help of volunteers and the current playgroup coordinator, Kellie Murrie.
Kellie has worked with Playgroup NSW as a program coordinator for three years. As part of this role, Kellie is also the program coordinator for the Aboriginal Supported groups across New South Wales and she supports the Ashmont Playgroup as well.

A playgroup dedicated to Aboriginal families

Ashmont is a location where many Aboriginal families live. As such, it became a necessity to start a playgroup to support and attend to the needs of these families.
Lack of transport and pre-school education are two of the main challenges for families living in Ashmont encounter. But the creation of this playgroup changed the way things used to be in the area.
The Ashmont Playgroup is centrally located at the local primary school. The benefit of this is that the playgroup families begin to develop relationships and familiarity with the school community. From there, it is possible to provide some essential pre-school education for the children before they start kindergarten.
As a result, children have exposure to school readiness activities, which has resulted in positive outcomes when they start their school journey. Moreover, parents are also more involved in the school community.
Before the playgroup was created, most families didn’t have exposure to any early learning environments. Therefore, it’s quite beneficial for everyone.
As Kellie has been involved with this playgroup for so long, she sees the benefits first-hand. “I love seeing the families grow and watching the connections between the families.”

What are the main activities offered by this playgroup?

The Ashmont playgroup has focused on five main groups of activities in the last couple of years.
Their activities are mostly aimed at preserving the Aboriginal culture and to ensure children can access pre-literacy before starting school.
On the other hand, there is a wide range of activities that everyone can enjoy by attending the playgroup. This includes outdoor play and gardening activities.
● Aboriginal language: Activities to learn the language through song and dance. This helps to connect the families with their culture
● School readiness: Activities to allow children to learn pre-literacy and early numeracy, such as writing names, counting, sorting.
● Outdoor play: Children and parents can enjoy the indigenous garden shaped into a goanna, which is the Wiradjuri Totem. There’s also an outdoor camp hut to explore.
● Gardening: Children can get directly involved with nature by weeding and planting different areas of the garden.
● General play activities: Playdough, LEGO, free play, etc...

Helping children thrive in education and health

The benefits of attending the Ashmont Playgroup go way beyond quality play and socialising with other children and parents.
The feedback from teachers at the school is that when playgroup children start kindergarten, they are thriving at school!
Due to the lack of transport in the area, families don’t have easy access to basic health services. For this reason, mother nurses and an antenatal nurse visit the playgroup once every month - a service that the playgroup families really value.

Are you interested in joining Ashmont Playgroup?

Do you live in the Ashmont area? Then, you can easily join their playgroup with weekly sessions, every Wednesday from 9:30 am to 12 pm.
If you wish to learn more about the Ashmont Playgroup or get in touch with them, please visit this page. You can visit them, send an online enquiry or call right away.
Playgroup NSW offers you 800 different playgroup sessions every week. Do you want to become part of the family? Browse our available community playgroups and join one today!

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