A new cafe at Evatt Primary School is creating a space for vulnerable parents to improve their teaching and caring skills so they can better support their children through school.
The Nest, which was previously an old classroom, is now open to the community and includes a ‘reading cafe’ each morning – a safe space for parents and families to participate in shared reading.
During the day and after school hours, it is then open for community organisations and parents to come in and run a range of programs such as cooking classes for parents and children.
Evatt Primary School P&C president Candice Safi said they wanted a space where parents could feel welcome instead of dropping off their kids at school and then running.
“We wanted a space where parents could engage with their children and have an active experience with their learning,” she said.
There are even some treats for parents who can sit in the cafe and enjoy some coffee and cake while their children dance at the upcoming school disco.
Evatt Primary School principal Michael Hatswell said bringing the students and their parents into a space where the school can work with them will have a significant effect on the learning of the children both at school and at home.
“A lot of the community businesses like to share when they can and support the school,” he said.
Speaking at the official opening of The Nest on Wednesday, 9 June, ACT Minister for Education Yvette Berry said the cafe will help strengthen the role of parents and carers as the most influential teachers in children’s lives.
“Through The Nest, Evatt aims to expand opportunities in supporting vulnerable parents to build their capacity as effective carers and members of the community,” she said.
“[It] is designed to be inviting and homely, and is open for parents to use.
“You can smell the food baking in the oven, and the coffee is nice and hot. People are learning a new skill by being taught how to make the coffee themselves. It is just a great way to bring people together.”
Evatt Primary School P&C used $20,000 of the Supporting Parent Engagement Grant it received from the ACT Government to build the cafe.
The Nest is partnered with the University of Canberra, Libraries ACT, ACT Playgroups, Cyclabilities and Capital Regional Community Services, and supported by Sauvage Urbain Kitchen Store, Three Mills Bakery, Assembly, Woolworths Charnwood, OzHarvest, Ruby’s Cafe @ Evatt, and Belconnen Lion’s Club.