A centenary is an important milestone in the life of any organization, and an opportunity to promote the organization, reinforce brand values, express pride and reconnect with former associates.
There’s also no happier place to celebrate than kindergarten—the cornerstone of so many Kiwi neighborhoods. Kidsfirst, one of New Zealand’s largest and oldest early-childhood education organizations, had much to look forward to with its 2011 centenary celebrations.
But these were not to be: The deadly February 2011 earthquake destroyed the central city of Christchurch and thousands of houses, and nine months later, as large aftershocks continued, the Pike River mining disaster took the lives of 29 men—some of them kindergarten dads. Kidsfirst communities were hard hit, and energies were diverted into recovery and rebuilding, both physically and emotionally.
Two years later brought a now-or-never moment. The mood of the community mood was still somber and preoccupied, but Kidsfirst wanted to do justice to the legions of teachers, students, volunteers, supporters, parents and children at the heart of the organization to ensure this milestone didn’t slip by.
The “100 Days of Kidsfirst” campaign was targeted at internal and stakeholder audiences, and included centrally organized resources and activities, as well as local initiatives. The celebrations opened with a staff event and closed with the official launch of a 119-page, limited-edition book detailing the history of Kidsfirst. Every event, activity or item of content was imbued with the vibrant Kidsfirst-brand personality. Along the way, the 63 kindergartens took part in key network-wide events that generated activity and much content. Funders, donors and influencers each had events with a more corporate and business-like focus, and the centenary highlighted the core differences that set Kidsfirst apart from its more commercially oriented competitors. The range of activities ran online and off,...
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