Thursday, February 25, 2010

Balloons for Logan

Today we said farewell to our wonderful Logan. We would like to share our tribute to him ...

On Saturday our collective hearts were torn apart. Our beautiful Logan ... you were such a part of our lives. as we gathered together to share our grief we began to list Logan's qualities ... happy, confident, enthusiastic, honest, polite, interesting, interested, confident in his own skin (whether he had clothes on or not) self assured, caring, sensitive, intuitive, empathetic ...
It was soon evident that words alone could not capture the essence that was Logan, you have to see his face. We tell the children that we have a rule at Botany Downs Kindergarten ... we only take the best kids! However, Logan was someone particularly special. Before long we were saying - hold on a minute, this is a four year old BOY we are talking about. What four year old boy has ALL these qualities? On the way here in the car we went some way to answering this question. This past week Kirsten and Dean have opened their hearts and their house to the whole community to grieve together. Kirsten and Dean, we know that Logan got these wonderful qualities from you.
Through our kindergarten blog we have learnt just how far Logan's friendship arm reached. So many have said that Logan was their child's first friend. These acts of kindness were not something we asked of him. It was something that just came naturally to him. What four year old gives more than they receive?
It seems that there were many young girls who were already planning their wedding to Logan. Logan never sought attention or credit for his random acts of kindness. This was just who he was.
Every day Logan would touch base with our children with special needs. He did have a wee fascination as to whether they had filled their nappies! We call that a scatalogical fascination ... a fascination with bodily functions! It seems he has now left that interest in his brother Dylan's capable hands!
Logan was a personality in our kindergarten- a positive, enthusiastic, gregarious child who never missed a thing. It was as though kindergarten was made for him. His love of sand and water stands above all else ... but he would give that up to bake, play a game or work with Steve, the builder. The only thing that we can ever recall growling at Logan for was sticking his finger up the hose! our collective vision recalled him standing in the middle of the floor, his clothes hanging off him with the weight of the water, a pool of water under him and a trail of water telling us where he had been. He would pop in to the cloakroom to change himself popping out every now and then to check if he was missing out on anything. He was comfortable in his own skin!
Dean and Kirsten shared how on the day before he passed away he was riding his bike in circuits around the outside of the house ... stark naked except for a pair of goggles that reduced his vision by 90%. we could just picture it! As we were coming in the chapel this morning Dean touched Logan's bike and said he felt the urge to ride the bike down the aisle. It was the naked bit that worried us!
So often Logan talked of his wonderful big sister Sophie. He thought that she was a good big sister.
Through our immense grief this week Logan continued to make us laugh, this time through our tears. Take a look at that face on your Logan badges. His face makes you smile and we can remember how his actions surpassed that. Perhaps this is Logan's way of helping to ease our pain that at this moment seems insurmountable. As the light pours through our skylight we will know that Logan is giving us strength.

All the children joined together to chant
Tahi, rua toru wha LOGAN

Thank you

We wish to say a huge thank you to the community of Botany Downs for their support over the past week. We could never have imaged such a week. Thank you for the hugs, emails, blog comments and baking. What a fabulous community.

As well, thank you to our professional community ... our extended teaching team, our relievers, our colleagues in other kindergartens, our professional support manager and the Auckland Kindergarten Association. Your support and encouragement is appreciated.

Thank you also to victim support for the fabulous handouts that we could share with families, and for your connection with us on day one.
Thank you also to the trauma team from the Ministry of Education. Thanks for coming to talk to us daily.

We will continue to have a 'Logan space' at kindergarten for a wee while to come so that children can be comforted by his 'things', make him things and ask questions that they are struggling to answer.

What a fabulous feature of the sidewalk art in this weeks local paper.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Our love of Logan

Paying tribute to Logan at kindergarten

Thank you to the children and their families for making this morning's tribute to Logan so special. It was ... mat time for Logan.
We looked at photos of Logan at work at kindergarten.
We read Logan's favourite story 'Peanut Butter Rhino'
We sang ...
I had a little turtle ... his name is Franklin
Marmite and cheese
Four hugs a day
I am a pizza
Looking for dracula
Then we invited children to come forward and toss their pottle of sand onto Logan's picture led by his wonderful big sister Sophie and his best friend Caden.

A big thank you to Logan's family for sharing this occasion with us.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Remembering Logan

What an outpouring of grief we have experienced these past few days. There is such disbelief as we recall the life and times of Logan. What a fabulous boy.
Tomorrow (Wed) at 9.30 we will pay tribute to our lovely Logan by reading his favourite story, singing his favourite songs and tossing his favourite sand. We hope that those who loved Logan will join us for this. We can assure you that the rumour that Logan will be joining us is absolutely false!!
Kindergarten will be closed on Thursday as we join the family in saying farewell to Logan. Children and families are welcome to join us at Manukau Gardens, Puhinui Road (on the way to the airport).

Monday, February 22, 2010

Art for Logan

This morning we just had to pop down the walkway to add to the beautiful artworks in Yarra Place. The children worked hard making their pictures and writing their names especially for Logan. They were pleased to know that their special tributes could be seen from Logan's house.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Street art for Logan in Yarra Place

What a wonderful tribute to Logan. Local children have drawn their pictures for Logan all over the cul-du-sac. He would have loved that.

Only LoganI

What did logan want for Christmas? ... Only Logan would want a leaf blower! No Bob the Builder DVD!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A tribute to Logan

Words cannot express the sadness in our hearts as we write this tribute to Logan. Logan passed away suddenly on 20/2/2010 as a result of an asthma attack at home. As we remember Logan we recall the vibrance he brought into our kindergarten and into our hearts. Everyone who met Logan remembered him. He would make himself known to visitors and engage them in conversation. He was always interested and interesting. He always had something of interest to say. Sometimes those comments were left of centre and thought provoking, sometimes they were funny but always they caring and polite. We called Logan a 'centred' child, someone who was comfortable in his own skin. He was self assured. He was confident. He enjoyed a joke and he always checked out all that was happening at kindergarten. He would have been devastated if he had missed out on anything that was going on. Most of all, the children loved him and he was always surrounded by friends. He loved to play in the sandpit and the water. He could often be found dripping his way to the bathroom! There are a number of entries on this blog celebrating Logan's learning and contribution to our kindergarten. We smile as we recall the emu egg he arrived with that provided the whole kindergarten with an omelette for morning tea. We chuckled at his enthusiasm to test out our new lithium battery drill. We were looking forward to following Logan's progress as he was to leave us to start school. We have known Logan since he was a baby; it is so very hard to believe that someone with such a big heart and vibrant personality is no longer with us. Our hearts go out to Kirsten and Dean, no words could express our sorrow. We have a wonderful community here at Botany Downs Kindergarten and their collective hearts are breaking. Rest in peace Logan.

For families wanting advice on how to address the subject of death with their children we have added some advice from Victim Support onto our website labelled 'grief'. On Monday morning we will have hard copies of these for you. As well, we will have our psychologist on site if anyone would like some further advise and support. Families are invited to share their thoughts and grief as we come together as a community to come to terms with this tragedy.

Please post your comments here on the blog. We will print them off and share them with the family, these comments are providing comfort at this point in time. As well, jot down your child's thoughts and comments. We have a board set up at kindergarten by the Mimio to put these on. These also will comfort the family and it will allow us to understand where your child is at and guide us in the support we can give to you and your child.

The family are happy for contact. The funeral is on Thursday at 11am at Manukau Gardens in Puhinui Road. Families are welcome to attend. It is an open casket funeral and children being able to draw on the casket. We will also be having a "celebrating Logan' time at kindergarten on Wednesday morning at 9.30am. We will let you know as we finalise details.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Puppet Dancing

There has been a fair amount of interest in Marionette puppets since Helen brought in her Dragon puppet from Singapore to share with the children for Chinese New Year. Since then the children have spotted our string puppets hanging above the mat and have asked to use them. Over the past few days the children have been having a go at getting the puppet to walk and dance. Kerry remembered seeing lots of marionettes in Prague while she was travelling and decided to share a short video clip of a puppet that she saw dancing. We also looked up a few other video clips on youtube including the Puppet show of "The Lonely Goatherd" from The Sound of Music. Plenty of puppet dancing was happening all around!

Link to The Lonely Goatherd puppet show from The Sound of Music

Link to the Muppet version of The Lonely Goatherd with Julie Andrews

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentines

Celebrating Chinese New Year

This year it was lovely to be able to celebrate Chinese New Year in term time. In the morning the children designed and created the head for the dragon. Then Calan and Rocky hopped inside to lead the children in Dragon Dancing.

The afternoon children enjoy stretchy lycra

The stretchy lycra is always popular, but never more so than when we introduced it to the new children inthe afternoon session.

Working together

It was really lovely to see Sean working with Ben; an old hand helping a new arrival.