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.