Jandowae Kindergarten receives generous donation from locals
JANDOWAE Kindergarten is at the heart of the small southwest town, and provides a safe space for its students to learn and grow.
But without the support of the community, that space wouldn't be able to exist for the children.
That's why funds like the Aussie Cotton Farmers Grow Communities grant are so important to groups like the kindy.
Jandowae Kindergarten President Naomi said the town is surrounded by agriculture, including a strong cotton farming industry, Jandowae provides many services to farming families, including the kindy.
"It provides an educational program for many children that come from farming families and children that live in the town," Ms Black said.
"22 children attend this kindergarten, so we're at full capacity, which is a great thing for this community. It's wonderful too that parents that work in our town have this service, so that they're able to go to work and support this community."
The kindergarten was successfully nominated by local cotton grower Ashley Tunks from One Tree Agriculture for an Aussie Cotton Farmers Grow Communities grant in 2019, and the $5,000 funding for a new cubby house was very welcome.
Mr Tunks, who is Northern Aggregation Farm Manager for One Tree Agriculture, first heard about the grant process through the Darling Downs Cotton Growers Association and knew it would be a natural fit.
"I first thought about putting the kindy forward for the grant as it's such a big part of the community. We're a big farming region, so a lot of farming families use the kindy, including my own staff, and my kids attended last year too," Mr Tunks said.
"The grants for the community are a big help with buying important items to keep them going, like the cubby house that they normally wouldn't be able to purchase."
Ms Black emphasised how lucky the kindergarten committee felt to have One Tree nominate the kindergarten for the grant.
"We were very grateful for the opportunity to access this grant and it's turned out to be such a wonderful outcome for our kindergarten," she says.
The 2019 management committee at Jandowae Kindergarten settled on the idea of a new cubby house as the old one was deteriorated from weather damage. The new cubby house is also future-proofed to be wheelchair accessible.
"We bought it to have an inclusive environment for children at the kindergarten, so that they are able to use it for a range of activities, and they have been enjoying it thoroughly," she says.
"It can be set up as a café for example, or as a house, it just enables the children to be able to use their initiative and imagination in an inclusive zone at the kindergarten. It's a wonderful asset for this community kindergarten."
Without the nomination and subsequent grant, they wouldn't have been able to purchase the new cubby house in 2019.
"It's grants like this through The Bayer Fund and FRRR that we're able to be successful in providing a well-equipped kindergarten for country children, like children in the city have," Ms Black said.
"They get these opportunities, and country children are able to now as well, through this grant that we've been given, so they're not missing out on this wonderful opportunity of having new equipment.
"On behalf of the Jandowae Kindergarten staff and management committee, I really would like to express our sincere gratitude to Bayer, FRRR, and One Tree Agriculture for making this possible for the Jandowae Kindergarten."
Local cotton farmers have just one month left to nominate a project or group to receive a $5,000 grant. Nominations close Monday 31 August at 5pm.