Pre-schooling with a difference - Royal Institute for Deaf & Blind Children

Pre-schooling with a difference

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Roberta Reid Preschool children learning online

The children at RIDBC Roberta Reid Preschool are learning new things all the time. The lesson they are currently learning is to make the best of their situation.

Coronavirus has affected us all, one way or another. In NSW, at the time of this being published, families are being advised where possible to keep preschool children at home. Following this advice has meant that some of the children, families, and teachers of RIDBC Roberta Reid Preschool are separated from each other. Thankfully, that separation is only a geographical one as the families and staff, like many others in this unusual time, have leant on the power of technology to stay connected.

Yesterday, the team facilitated their first session via teleconference – giving friends and family a chance to reunite. From RIDBC Roberta Reid Preschool Director, Jodie Lenton, “The session immediately lifted the spirits of our staff. They are now, more than ever before, dedicated to providing an ‘at home’ preschool experience that will support our children’s connections with the world whilst harnessing their emerging Auslan language skills.”

And if the result of the session is anything to go by, both the families and staff are wanting more!

“It has left us all overjoyed to say the least. We will continue to keep connected during this period,” Jodie continues.

From one family a message to the teaching team, “Thank you for organising the conference call today! It was also the highlight of day! It was so lovely to see you all and all the other students. We look forward to catching up again tomorrow.”

“The dedication of our families is heart-warming even through the challenges of self-isolation” Jodie explains.

As well as the lesson, the staff are providing the families with other ideas to keep their children engaged whilst they experience unusually long periods of time at home. Experience ideas; extra story times; dedicated Auslan classes for parents; activities for fine motor skill development (writing, cutting and drawing); journal writing; and opportunities for individual support, just to name a few.

The team are going that one step further for the families. That step just happens to be a big one.

And as the nation, and world continues through uncertain times, the commitment of people is shining through brighter than ever.

“It is more important than ever that we can support these families and children through these challenging times.” Jodie concludes.

“We are on this journey together”.

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