CTC's Sandpit Project
Children whose preschool was recently relocated to St Anne’s Church in Opawa watched with great interest as a large sandpit took shape in their new playground last week. A few were tempted to pick up tools and help but were quickly redirected to a small plastic climbing fort.
The sandpit was built by Canterbury Tertiary College (CTC) students at workshops in CPIT’s Trades Innovation Institute. The 16 secondary students, from one of CTC’s three carpentry classes, began their training in February and are working towards completing their NCEA L2 qualification at school while also completing their industry based qualification at the CTC. Students complete the CTC programme over two years and remain enrolled at their high school where they can continue to participate in sports and other activities.
Opportunities to practice the skills learned at CTC in the community are always welcome. “I heard that CPIT wanted a community-based project so I approached CTC,” CPIT Customer Services Representative Kim Addison, who is the Chair of the preschool, said. “Emma Meijer (CTC Manager) and Mick Cooke (CPIT carpentry tutor) were keen to help. It’s a win-win situation because CTC is a new programme and one that some students could really benefit from.”
Sydenham Community Preschool’s premises were damaged in the February earthquake and moved to temporary home at St Annes Church. “We went door knocking in the local community,” Kim said. “The preschool is not for profit and has a long standing in the community and it was important to us to retain our families.
“We had nothing, we had to bring all of our resources and we have to pack everything away every day because the hall is used for other activities. We’ve had to make do.”
The project ticked many boxes of the students’ practical training according to carpentry tutor Mick Cooke: “Using hand tools, hand-eye coordination, some power tools, measuring, calculations and team work… it’s been a great project, even more so because we know this sandpit will be overrun with those little kids next week.”
Sand was donated by an industry partner who asked to remain anonymous.
Preschool teacher Denny Bodger also enjoyed watching the progress as the sandpit was filled. “It’s great seeing these young kids here working hard. We really appreciate it,” she said.