Oakey kids stepping into prep

25 July 2014

Oakey families and their children are getting a head start for prep thanks to the New Hope Group’s sponsorship of the Steps into Prep program at Oakey State School.

Held on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings at Yumba, Steps into Prep is an educational play-based program for families and their children who are entering Oakey State School.

Funding provided through the New Hope Group’s New Acland Community Investment Fund enabled the program to continue after government funding was cut.

Steps into Prep coordinator Julie Buckley said the program provided low-cost early learning for pre-prep children before they transitioned into school.

“It’s focussed on ensuring the kids are ready for school, so it’s about getting used to the routine but making sure it’s fun at the same time,” she said.

“Every morning we call the roll so the children can recognise their own name, we spend time doing literacy and numeracy, as well as working on their gross and fine motor skills.

“There are quite a few kids in the group who have English as a second language, so this is a good opportunity for both the parents and the children to experience school.”

Oakey State School P&C sub-committee member and parent Stacy Treble said the group offered a good support network for local families.

“The program also provides a great learning environment for the children and structure that they otherwise might not have at home,” she said.

“We are very grateful for the support from New Hope. If we didn’t have New Hope then Steps into Prep wouldn’t be running.”

New Acland General Manager Andrew McDonald said the company was proud to support the Steps into Prep program.

“Steps into Prep is a very valuable education program for the Oakey community, particularly for children who may not otherwise have the opportunity to attend kindergarten or pre-prep programs,” he said.

“As a company, we are always proud to partner with local organisations to develop long-term outcomes and benefits for the communities surrounding the New Acland Coal Mine.”