For Cheryl-Anne Leggatt, the idea of not overseeing the Abermain Playgroup is something that bares not thinking about.
For the past 19 years, Mrs Leggatt has run the school readiness-based playgroup, in a volunteer capacity, and despite her children long since moved on from the group, she can’t tear herself away.
“The playgroup was started in late 1996 by the P and C and I took it over in 1999 when I was part of the P and C and the school decided to make it a school-based playgroup,” she explained.
“I’ve had two children go through it – one is 18 and the other one is 10 but I’m still there.
“I love the kids and i love to see them learn. They grow a lot in kindergarten but 0-5 they just develop so much. you see them learn how to communicate and socialise and how to sit still. I am just so proud of all of them.”
Mrs Leggatt said that the friendships she forges with the children throughout their time with the group also make it worthwhile.
“I saw one last week that I hadn’t seen for 12 months and they ran up and gave me a cuddle, which is really nice.”
Mrs Leggatt said that the group, which is open to everyone in the area, said a main focus was taking much of the unknown about the first day of school.
“It’s about making the children feel comfortable with school.
“For example we get the children involved with things like the Easter Hat parade at the school which can be very scary in Kindergarten if you’ve never had to parade before.”
The playgroup is not just for the children, either with the group provides a great network of parents which Mrs Leggatt said was great for new mums or families new to the area.
The Playgroup was recently recognised with a School Achievement Award at the Cessnock Community of Great Public Schools awards and Mrs Leggatt said she was blown away by the honour.
“It was absolutely lovely to see playgroup recognised because it was around where there were no playgroups at schools. It started here because there was nothing locally so it’s great to see the recognition.”
Abermain Playgroup meets every Wednesday morning. For more information, phone the school on 4930 4210.