HoD Technology Brian Murphy with Year 13 Building and Carpentry students Senio Amaama Su’e and Matthew Paul, and childcare centre owner Linda Petrenko.
Children at the Small Kauri Early Childhood Education Centre jumped for joy and owner Linda Petrenko was overwhelmed when MAGS Building and Carpentry students surprised them with the gift of a play fort yesterday.
Year 13s Devon Carr and Jeremiah Schuster undertook the project, which was a huge boost for the Mangere Bridge centre after it had its play equipment stolen almost a year ago.
HoD Technology Brian Murphy’s daughter Saoirse goes to the centre and he came up with the idea of students helping out the childcare centre as a great practical project and doing community service.
He said, “When I met Linda early this year, her passion for growing young people inspired me, which is why my wife and I enrolled our daughter Saoirse there.
“I felt it was time to give back to people like her and her staff. Plus enhance their students learning and, of course, the students’ learning at Mount Albert Grammar.
“So the brief I gave the students was, ‘Can they design or make something that helps or enhances people’s lives within a community’, and I used what happened at Small Kauri as an example.”
Two forts were built with one going to Roger Pauling, of Pauling Engineering Ltd, which helped move the play fort to the daycare centre.
Mr Pauling’s fort, which will go to his grandchildren, was built by Senio Amaama Su’e, and Matthew Paul came in to help him finish it off.
Because Devon and Jeremiah had other school commitments when the play fort was delivered, Senio and Matthew helped out with its delivery and installation at the daycare centre.
Once they had the slide, tyre swing and ladder in place, there was no holding the kids back as they swarmed over the play fort.
Mr Murphy said, “I believe we have some amazing people here in New Zealand and amazing communities; unsung heroes who people do not hear about and Linda is one them. Plus Roger Pauling of Pauling Engineering Ltd, who helped us move the play fort, is another – a man who had a stroke five years ago and has his own struggles but he was very willing to help us transport the fort to the childcare centre.
“Plus our amazing students in Building and Carpentry, who don’t get a lot of praise or notice. So without them we couldn’t make magic and dreams like this come true. They truly made a different in Linda’s life, the students’ lives and the lives of her amazing staff. This is what New Zealand is about, it’s the Kiwi way to help others and give back.”