The beat of their own drum

Taylar AmoniniNorth West Telegraph

Children rocked the sound room at the Child and Parent Centre in South Hedland, with feet tapping to the YMCA WA Drum Beat session last week.

The first Drum Beat session held by YMCA WA early years co-ordinator Kesi-Maree Prior was modified from a program aimed at re-engaging and assisting young people.

“The original program was designed for youth intervention and drug and alcohol awareness,” she said.

“Dealing with emotions, problem solving and re-engaging and assisting with managing difficult behaviours is the purpose of the program.

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“I’ve had to modify it to align with what our aim is and the age of the younger children here, but I’ve still based it on the core principles.”

Ms Prior, who has been working in children’s services for many years in Hedland, said she hoped the sessions would be able to continue, as in previous years the sessions had shown a positive outcome for youth in the town in dealing with their emotions.

“The base of Drum Beat is the heartbeat, that is the core principle of the program, it’s the heart note,” she said.

While the workshops were originally set to run as an after-school program last term, last week was the first session to run, and after positive feedback, more sessions may be arranged.

Mother-of-two Kelly Heslop said she had been to multiple groups with her two daughters, aged five and 16 months, and was excited to see her children learn and engage through the music at the Drum Beat session.

“They’re really fun to go to, the kids really love them and seem to learn a lot when they come,” she said.

“We went to the cooking session last year and I ended up staying the entire time with my daugh-ter because it was so much fun.

“I definitely plan to come to future sessions.

“My girls particularly love the program Play in the Park.”

With the help of funding from the Department of Education, YMCA WA is able to engage with the community with services at and through the Child and Parent Centre.

The range of programs includes beach excursions, a Masterchef cooking session making pizzas and fruit kebabs, and craft days.

As well as the holiday program, Gumala 3a Early Learning Centre runs playgroups at the Child and Parents Centre from Monday-Friday, with Mondays and Fridays being indigenous days and with universal days from Tuesday-Thursday..

When the school term begins, the YMCA WA will be hosting its bi-weekly morning program called Play in the Park.

Play in the Park will resume on Wednesday, February 1, at South Hedland Library from 9.15am-10.30am, and at Wanangkurra Stadium from 9am-11am on Tuesday, February 7.

Play in the Park is an outdoor program for children from birth to five years old, and gives all children the chance to have fun and learn through play in a supportive, engaging and safe environment.

For more information on programs and sessions held by YMCA WA and how to become involved, contact cpc.earlyyears@ymcawa.org.au.

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