Here in Christchurch, we’ve learnt a heck of a lot about what it means to experience a massive natural disaster. It was our work in the early childhood education sector in Christchurch following the devastating Canterbury Earthquakes, that made us determined that some of what had been learnt and experienced by the sector should be recorded.
In 2011 we’d been invovled with others on a project for the Ministry of Education that scoped the impact of the earthquakes on participation in east Christchurch early childhood education services. Although this project did a good job of capturing many issues, we were interested in doing something more. We wanted to tell some of the personal stories of teachers, parents, and children. We wanted to record an important part of our history, and to ensure others gained from our sectors’ losses and lessons. In 2012 we were were thrilled to recieve funding through the CORE Education Foundation to video six of these stories. We called this project Looking forward, looking back.
The premiere screening of the six Looking forward, looking back videos was held for the Christchurch early childhood education sector and friends in the Hagley Park Dome in December last year. We are thrilled to announce the first of these videos are now available on the Early Years channel of Edtalks.
The six stories include:
Most early childhood centres were in full swing when the February earthquake hit. This story captures some of the experiences of teachers in these centres at this moment, and in the hours, weeks and months that followed.
Portobelo Preschool operated out of the Cranmer Centre and never re-opened following the February 22nd earthquakes.
North Beach Community Childcare had been operating for 25 years. On February 22nd it was clear they couldn’t return to their centre. But what happens when temporary becomes long-term?
This story captures the experience of Little Explorers Preschool as ECE centre located on the edge of a ‘red-zone’.
The uncertainty that now exists for families is presenting new challenges in terms of shifting services and starting school. This is the story of one ‘red-zoned’ family’s experience.
While others were requesting ‘no earthquake talk’ in their centres, this team embraced the experiences associated with the earthquakes as a learning experience.
We are deeply grateful to those who spoke on camera. This wasn’t always easy. Emotions were raw, and for many, over two years after the quakes, this is still the case.
These videos are just a beginning. We hope they will prompt others to record and share their stories and wisdom. We also hope that communities around Aotearoa New Zealand, and the world, will benefit from our experiences, and will be more prepared in the future.
Do you have a story to tell? Share it in the comments section below. Or, feel free to comment on any of the videos.