Friday, 24 July 2009

Playgroup Malaysia, Bangsar Gospel Hall : A Need To Say My Piece

Update: This post was originally posted on 17 July 2009. I have changed the title so that it would be easily found when one searches for "Playgroup Malaysia" on the internet.
A special thanks to all the mums who have voiced their support for the wonderful playgroup which we have been/ are all part of.


I was shocked (appalled, aghast, angered even) when I read this "blog" about the playgroup my kids use to go to.

I know the place well, and I know the coordinator well through the four years my kids have been there.
Everything said in that blog is untrue.
On top of that, the person who started this "blog"* obviously did it with out of malice and with intent to slander.

(AArgh! ... Ok... Let me be cool about this and tell you the TRUTH about this place without)

This group has been running for years by the same coordinator. And I know of friends whose kids were there and are now in their pre-teens and they would be shock if they read the lies on that site.

Here is what I and the mums at the group would tell you about the playgroup.

# The person in charge is a fully qualified Montessori teacher. There are three full-time teachers and at least three regular volunteers who have a number of years of experience handling children of ages 0-6 in this place. The coordinator is always gentle and never raises her voice. She is always encouraging and never insistent. (In fact, when she came across this blog, she was so troubled by it, and then was apologetic to have called and troubled me regarding this: She, not really into blogging and surfing the net, wanted to know how to go about contacting the person to seek some explanation, which was impossible anyway.)

# The teachers and volunteers are really dedicated. The teachers and volunteers are moms themselves. I once volunteered to be involved and was called in for a planning meeting. We planned a theme for the term and then down to who is to do what for each playgroup meet. Most of the time the coordinator will step in to fill in all the gaps herself, should one of us not be able to make it, even at the last minute.

# Should you choose to join the group, you are given a list of guidelines to make the place comfortable for everyone, and every child. There is even a list of suggestions of what kind of snacks to bring should you volunteer to be on duty to be sure that it's nutritious for the kids. (I really found that so helpful, especially when it's your first time bringing a snack. On top of that I'm not the serious cooking-baking type. Hahaha)

# Moms are usually invited to be involved in taking a session so that they have a place to explore their talents, and also to bring the snack of the day. The key word is invited. Some moms have confessed they have stage-fright and were never forced to do a session, while some were happy to do more than one a term. Some mom's would be happy just being on the snack duty roster. (When I am on snack duty I bring what I know my kids would eat. Hehehe..)

# Should you be in the group and your child has some behavioral problem, she normally shares about how she would address certain problems with the child And this she does in private with the mom so as not to make that mom nor others feel uncomfortable. But some moms are really open and we discuss on coping with certain issues with our growing child.

# Should you choose to join the group, you pay a fee for a term (for three months), which is really nominal. We have never been asked to pay for any of the materials for crafts, even when we used some really expensive stuff, like glass paint and magnets discs. We were never asked to fork out anything when we discover new toys brought in at the start of a new term. The coordinator once brought a mini slide in from her own home even!

# There are always new people coming to visit or joining in the group simply by word of mouth, and sometimes there is even a waiting list (when I frist brought Micah, he was almost 2, but because of the crowd, she asked very kindly if I would mind coming to the younger group first until some of the children "graduated" to pre-school). Most of us are Malaysians, but we also have quite a few who hold foreign passports, who are PRs in Malaysia. (Here I have tasted food from quite a few countries, and also learnt interesting things about their cultures and homeland.)

# Some of us moms choose to celebrate our child's birthdays there because it is a place we have come to belong.

Micah celebrated his 2nd birthday at the playgroup.

# The year end Christmas party is always a big bash, by sheer number of moms and their kids, and sometimes even the fathers and grandmas and granddads come too. The goody-bag for the kids always amazes me, and the array of food at the party, pot-luck style, is amazing. Some moms are so kind that even when they can't make it for the party, they still volunteer to send the food for the rest of us to enjoy.

# The playgroup does a special Mother's Day celebration for the mums every year, strictly for mums only, so that we have a couple of hours to relax and enjoy our food and chit-chats without having to fuss or worry about our little darlings. And this is free of charge even! (They have even asked me to bring my mom and my mil!! So generous of them.)


I think the playgroup we go to really is great. In fact, so may times I have wished that I drive an MPV, if not a bus, so that I could bring moms and their kids from my neighbourhood for this enriching and bonding time together.

Now I'm just waiting for Myron to be a little better from his cough before I bring him in.




*Come on. How can you call this blog "Malaysia Playgroup" when there are no other entrees on any other playgroups (good, bad, location, programmes, etc) and there are no updates whatsoever. There isn't even an option to post a comment or to contact the author of the blog, who has remained anonymous.

25 comments:

mumsgather said...

Thats pretty malicious. The "blog" is there for only one intent and its obvious. There is only one post, its anonymous and it does not allow comments. Anyone can see through that.

A gift from God said...

AHHHHHHH.... I am also very mad. Whoever this is....is really out to get M and the others. How can this person write such lies? I wonder what we can do to stop this blog!

Reese loves going there. We are always look forward to our Mondays and Fridays.... I can't wait for Reese to join the Kindy!

little prince's mummy said...

Sounds like it's a great playgroup...

Sandra said...

I'm appalled. I always feel that if people are unhappy about something they should just come forward and speak about it openly. The vicious person is a coward!

wendy said...

this is the playgroup that i joined when my daughter was 6 mths old. i regretted for not joining earlier and just stayed at home doing nothing with her. this playgroup has been very encouraging and the coordinator helped me alot with my daughter. and now, my daughter is in the kindy as well. this is the place where i know all mommies, and this is the place where i can share with mommies whenever i'm down. the coordinator cares for everyone. she takes time to talk to everyone at the playgroup and she will try her very best not to miss anyone. i had post-natal depression with my second baby. she made the effort to visit me despite her busy schedule. this is the support that you need in a playgroup and she did it!!!!

Our Jouneys.... said...

well...there are a lot of funny people/blogs who are out there to tear others down...it's getting common these days for people to use blogs to talk bad about any church/organization/playgroup...*sigh* We live is scary world now...no respect, only freedom to express...

kimmei said...

Hi! I guess I am one of those moms who have children in their pre-teens that moomykins mentioned. I only have fond memories of Cornerstone and Children's Corner and both my kids can attest to that.

Recently, one of my daughter's teachers from Cornerstone came back for holiday and the teachers, the class (now mostly aged 12!) and their mommies had a get-together. Hey, give me a show of hands how many of you had your kindy teachers call you up for a gathering after 7 years?

Well, to the blogger who left - It's your (and your kid's) loss! You don't have to be so bitter about it.

Blessed mum said...

intention rather clear of that "blog" author..

but then again, what can anyone do?

Moomykin said...

Thank you, mums, for all your support.

Some of us are getting a headache out of this. It seems there's another place she posted the same article, but I haven't seen that for myself.

*sigh* the good and evil of the internet...

Ann said...

well...no one should believe everything they read on the internet....especially blogs...

let the administrator know not to worry about it....we cannot right all wrong especially not in the world wild web!

Jodie L. said...

My 4+ years' experience of Babies' Corner, Children's Corner, and Cornerstone with my two boys has been nothing but positive.

The sessions were thoughtfully prepared, well executed, and a lot of fun. Everyone involved in the leading did their job and more besides, caring for the kids and the mommies to the point where it felt to me like the family I left overseas.

I was involved with a children's Home at the time, and know for a fact that both Children's Corner and Cornerstone sponsered one girl's fees for three years. Fees weren't raised the whole time i was there, and they were very moderate from the beginning.

I wish the blogger had approached the coordinator with her concerns instead of putting them in a blog that doesn't even allow comments. The coordinator is very approachable and would have dealt with any real issues had she been given a chance to address them.

I hope all our positive experiences will drown out that lone voice.

Moomykin said...

Ann,

Unfortunately not everyone reads with discretion...
:(


-------


Jodie,

We have always enjoyed your sessions and your presence with us at the playgroup. We miss you.

Thank you for all that you had done for us mommies and our kids.
Thank you for sharing so much of yourself and your family with us.

Shireen said...

Well...if that isn't testimony enough to future mommies of Childrens' Corner, then I don't know what is!!!! My 2 sen worth is that not only does my son enjoy and miss Aunty "Coordinator" when he misses a session, BUT I so wish I had found out about this playgroup when I had my daughter (soon to be 5)> the things I would have learnt from the wonderfully gracious, down to earth, humble and most loving lady I have ever met (ie read: the "Coordinator") would have definitely kept me sane and probably made me more "mummy-ish". Not only do the kids learn (the alphabet, nursery rhymes, social skills like playing and sharing, etc.) even we mommies learn from other mommies (recipes, music schools, nurseries, doctors, etc)and definitely the SUPPORT!!!! All I say is.....YAY to the Coordinator whose life is dedicated to the nurturing of young kids. Bless her.

Moomykin said...

Shireen,

Hi. Thanks for dropping by.

I know what you mean about the support, especially for us full time mums, we really need some other adult to talk to just help us keep sane. Hahaha...

Always glad to see you at playgroup, my friend. It IS such a great place to be. :)

p/s- And we had so much fun doing the "gardening as a hobby" session last year at your in-law's garden. Thank you for sharing so much with us.

Wendy said...

after reading everyone's comments, I feel that I need not to say more to defence the organizer of the playgroup as you ladies have stated the truth beautifully. Although our time with the playgroup was not very long (I would have loved to stay longer but I was too busy with my older son when he started big school at that time), but the organizer of the playgroup was the MOST charming teacher/mum/woman I have ever met. I really can't figure out what was the blogger's intentions.

Moomykin said...

Wendy,

Thank you.
You are absolutely right about the coordinator.

ethan's mom said...

My son grew up in this 'profit-making' playgroup & though it's been 2 years now since he left, he constantly pleads to go back to visit the 'always-missing-for-hours' co-ordinator during his kindy holidays. Maybe he misses the 'ill-prepared' singing/storytelling/craft sessions or playing with the toys that should he ( heaven forbid ) loose, I 'would be asked to pay for'. The blogger ended with the ominious 'you have been warned!!' For my own selfish reasons, I hope new moms find other playgroups to attend because I'll be returning soon with my little 5-month-old girl & I can't wait to have this terrible coordinator lavish her with 'unqualified' attention; after I pay the 'exhorbitant fees & hidden charges' of course!!!!

Moomykin said...

ethan;s mom.

Haha. Oh, you are so witty.
:)

I too am waiting for Myron to clear his running nose before getting into some action there...

Hope to meet you there regularly soon.
:)

Sharon Lee said...

Hi, can anyone help me by sharing the bangsar gospel hall contact no please?

Moomykin said...

Sharon Lee,

Hi, If you can pass me your e-mail I will gladly give you all the details.

Jey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jey said...

Hahaha... Malaysia Playgroup is a retard blog. Not factual and has only one single posting by a cowardly anon. blogger. I'm sorry that I wasted my time reading it.

Sweetie said...

Hi Moomykin,

I was searching for a playgroup to join when I read your blog. I have a 6-mth old daughter and I'm interested in joining the playgroup by Bangsar Gospel Hall.

Could you provide me the playgroup info (who to contact, phone no/email address, etc)?

Many thanks! :)

eyeDeaList said...

This seems like a really great playgroup despite what effort others try to bring it down. Just continue to do what you guys have been doing as long as the kids are happy ! This coming fromMy First Skool Playgroup

Debasish K said...

Hi..i m interested to send my son to cornerstone..pls help us with address details...we have been told it functions from a home in lucky garden near bangsar village.Pls help. I can rchd at sherry.swati @gmail.com