Eastern Courier : February 11th 2011
12 EASTERN COURIER, FEBRUARY 11, 2011 NEWS Great reading this weekend. Don't miss this Sunday's SUNDAY MAGAZINE Your glossy Sunday treat. ESCAPE The best food, wellbeing and e ■ Top to bottom -- Marc Ellis ■ Love, actually -- celebs' to going on Valentine's Day a ■ Most Eligible -- We pick NZ's 40 most eligible bachelors ■ Second Honeymoon -- Finlay Macdonald takes his kids back to the beginning of a romance ■ First things first -- Ray McVinnie's enticing entrées SUBSCRIBE TO THE SUNDAY STAR-TIMES, Ph: 0800 SUNDAY (0800 786 32 Finlay Macdonald tak hi Second honeymoon In time for Valentine's Day, we pick the 40 most eligible New Ze alande r s FANTASY LEAGUE WIN Beintowinoneoftwo see Lionel Richie in Haw Meeting on early learning Funding cuts to early childhood education will be discussed with Bot- any byelection candi- dates at a public meet- ing next week. Parents are encour- aged to attend and share their views. It s a chance for rep- resentatives from all parties to debate the government s $285 mill- ion funding cut that came into effect on February 1. The New Zealand Education Institute says the change significantly reduces funding for about 2000 early child- hood centres and ser- vices that have 80 per- cent or more fully quali- fied staff. It says most services with less funding are increasing fees while others are being forced to consider losing or reducing qualified staff. The meeting starts at Howick s Willowbank School on February 17 at 7pm. Broader education issues, such as national standards, as well as early childhood funding cuts will be discussed at a second candidates forum on February 23 at Somerville Intermediate from 7pm. Jessica inspires ironman effort By NICOLA WILLIAMS Ironman effort: Jessica Sherborne with parents Simon Sherborne and Sonia Webb. Ms Webb is doing a half iron man to raise money for learning equipment at the education centre that has helped her daughter's development. Photo: NICOLA WILLIAMS A 2km swim, 90km bike ride and 21km run is an extraord- inary feat. But Sonia Webb says it s nothing compared with what her daughter has endured in her short life and the stamina and fortitude she has drawn upon. The Howick resident is competing in the Auckland half ironman to raise money for the learning centre that has made a huge difference to the youngster s development. I want to push myself like Jessica does every day, Ms Webb says. Five-year-old Jessica has a severe motor disorder that has meant countless medical issues, operations and challenges. Extreme muscle weakness prevented her holding her head up until she was six months old. Physical therapy helped her to sit when she was two but she was still unable to stand. Jessica then started attending the Sandringham- based Iris Conductive Edu- cation Centre on weekdays. From then on our lives changed, Ms Webb says. Through intense therapy she began to develop in leaps and bounds and just before her third birthday she took her first steps. We were so proud of her, she says. We did not think this would ever happen. It s hard to believe such a chatterbox could have experi- enced delayed speech for many years. Jessica is now a very popu- lar member of her class at Mellons Bay primary school and even takes part in run- ning races with the other students. It might take her a bit longer but her inner strength and determination to finish shines through. The social butterfly loves to be the centre of attention and continues to amaze people with her tenacity and level of achievement. Ms Webb says Jessica com- municates a smile through the twinkle in her eye . She s a real gift, I wouldn t change anything about her. Unlike the half ironman on March 19 there will be no fin- ish line for Jessica with con- stant medical issues to deal with. Through sponsorship Ms Webb would like to buy scooters and tricycles to give back to the education centre that has given the family so much. She says the equipment will help the physical devel- opment of the children at the centre. Go to www.fundraiseonline. co.nz/operation3wheel to sponsor Ms Webb or email firstname.lastname@example.org to donate items to be auctioned. Go to www.eastern courier.co.nz to see a video of the Iris Conductive Education Centre.
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