A story by Amanda Fraser. Story House’s Brisbane and Toowoomba child care service area manager.
As you all know one key component within our Story House values and philosophy is Connectedness. Core to my role as Business Operations Manager (BOM) for Story House Early Learning.
For me I see my role as connecting my teams with each other, with the support office, with our other Story House services, with the community, with the department, with families. Chatting with Katrina *Service Manager* at Windsor (a Brisbane inner city childcare service) she was explaining her current issues with her chickens (Henny, Penny and Lenny). The children had developed an amazing bond with the three chickens and from time to time they came out of their cage to roam. With limited space and roaming, Katrina’s beautiful gardens soon became an eye sore…Educators scrubbing chicken poo on a daily basis off cement and soft fall, and the chicken’s destroying the material that lay under their home. So, we made the tough decision to adopt them out.
Now chatting to Sarah *Service Manager* at Oak on South (located approximately 1hr and a half from Brisbane) in a more rural setting. Sarah and I were chatting about our big plans for Oak on South as we worked on the service Quality Improvement Plan and areas identified as areas for improvement. One thing Sarah has at Oak on South is space. Her service backs onto wide open gullies where horses roam free and at the side of her senior playground, they have a large fenced vegetable garden where children engage daily in caring for their environment as they tend to their herbs and vegetables. Perfect space for three chickens…
Through our discussions it became very apparent to me that Oak on South would be the perfect home to Henny, Penny and Lenny.
I was sharing this idea with a friend of mine on a weekend (clearly love my job) and trying to work out how I was I going to move these chickens from Brisbane to Toowoomba in my Story House car….with great difficulty if any of you have seen my car. I was just lucky that he has a friend that travels to Toowoomba for work regularly and volunteered his mates time to transport them for us. He will now forever be known as the chicken man! So, on Tuesday the 21 July the move was a success. The Chickens man’s car now smells a little like chicken poo, but our Henny, Penny and Lenny are safe, happy and are loving their new home….The move was so successful that the three chickens laid on the first night in their new home.
But what was the most amazing part of this story?…..
This adoption became a wonderful learning experience for both services. Our little people at Windsor developed videos to support the Oak on South children in caring for their chicken’s properly. The two Kindergarten groups even skyped with each other where Windsor children explained what they needed to do to care for the chickens and our Oak on South little ones got to ask so many valuable questions to ensure the chickens were happy and healthy in their new home. And the projects kept coming we had two kindergarten programs running in two different communities, connected by three chickens (Henny, Penny and Lenny) and the hope that these chickens would be happy and have space to roam in their new home.
The proof of the learning is visible in both services, on my visits I am seeing children’s questions, their planning, drawings, self-portraits, conversations, questioning, research, hands on learning, writing, technology experiences the list goes on……. Speaking to Sarah, Katrina and their teams they are keen to keep this ‘connectedness’ going as they continue to collaborate so that the Windsor children can check in on their babies (Henny, Penny and Lenny) from time to time but connect with each other on other future projects. So watch this space…….
The learning that has come from this experience brings me so much joy…the reason why I and our Educators do what we do every day….to enhance the lives of the little people that attend our Story House services and to provide quality programs where children engage, connect and learn through real life experiences. A big thank you to all involved