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Kindergarten is for everyone . . . Celebrating the official handover of the new Oamaru Kindergarten Association van are (from left) North Otago Motor Group owner Peter Robinson, Rotary Club of Oamaru president Blair Middlemass, Bookarama co-ordinator Jacquie Webby, Oamaru Kindergarten Association general manager Julie Craig, president Rosalie Hyslop and Rotarian Alex Regtien. PHOTO: REBECCA RYAN

Not having transport is now not a problem for parents and caregivers of children at Oamaru kindergartens.

Last week, the Oamaru Kindergarten Association was handed keys to a new vehicle that will be used to collect children from their homes and drop them off after the kindergarten day.

The eight-seater vehicle was donated by the Rotary Club of Oamaru, using some of the proceeds from last year’s Bookarama, to help parents and caregivers overcome barriers to education.

In the past, the Oamaru Kindergarten Association has used Driving Miss Daisy to get some children to and from kindergarten.

“This will make a huge impact – massive,” Oamaru Kindergarten Association board chairwoman Rosalie Hyslop said.

“It’s been on the board’s radar for years that there might be children in North Otago who are missing out on attending kindergarten because they can’t get there, or transport is a barrier.

“Kindy is for everyone. It’s part of the North Otago way of life and we don’t want anyone missing out.”

There were about 10 children, from three kindergartens, who required the service. The Oamaru Kindergarten Association was in the process of employing a driver, who will be accompanied by a teacher when transporting children every day.

Last year’s Bookarama raised more than $30,000, a figure thought to be a record, and the proceeds were split between several projects, Rotary Club of Oamaru president Blair Middlemass said.

Everyone who supported last year’s Bookarama had played a part in the purchase of the new Oamaru Kindergarten Association van, Bookarama co-ordinator Jacquie Webby said.

“I’m just thrilled to see this.”

This year’s Bookarama was to be held in May but was postponed due to Covid-19. A new pop-up Bookarama is being held on August 12 at 205A Thames St, next to Sutherlands Mens and Ladieswear.