At about 08h00 on Monday morning, 4 February, a fire broke out at St Matthews Preschool causing devastating damage to the school building. “While sitting at my desk, I saw flames come from the back of our building. It was our kitchen and apparatus room that had caught fire due to an electrical fault,” owner and principal, Sharon Block explained.
St Matthews Preschool is home to 85 young learners between the ages of three and six. “I have been teaching for 32 years and this is St Matthews 17th year in existence. We have six classes where we develop children from three years old all the way to Grade R, I currently have six teachers in my employ,” she continued.
No children or staff were hurt during the fire. Included in the damage resultant of the fire are kitchen apparatus; microwaves, stoves, kitchen cupboards, kiddie’s desks and chairs, computers, hard drives, files, stationery, cutlery and crockery to name but a few of the items. The building itself has faced structural damage with the roof and some of the walls having collapsed.
Although a loss has been incurred, Mrs Block remains positive for the future of her school and is getting things up and running as early as tomorrow, “I was devastated by this incident but we have taken today to get what we need to get ready, from tomorrow we are back in action as we have the school hall that we can use. As most people know, I pride myself in quality education, thus the children will be continuing with their educational programs from tomorrow. The parents and community members have been really positive and helpful, I am immensely appreciative of that,” Mrs Block expressed.
Situated in Barkley Road, St Matthews is a community based preschool and has a good relationship with its neighbours, “We have a feeding scheme on Friday mornings where, together with the kids, we feed the elderly from our community. The kids are active in the feeding scheme as they give the elderly the sandwiches themselves. In addition to that we also have a host of extra mural activities that will also be continuing as per usual,” she concluded.
Extra mural activities offered by St Matthews range from cricket, swimming, computer classes and PlayBall that kids can get involved in.
Any donations and/or people willing and able to sponsor or help the community school with anything are free to do so from Wednesday, 6 February and can contact Mrs Block on 082 294 7298.