Campbell River Early Years Community “A Year in Review” From April 1, 2010 to March 31, 2011
What have we been up to in Campbell River? We’ve been busy making a difference for the youngest children in our community.
With the guidance of the Success By 6 Community Council of Partners, the Early Childhood Development table and the Working Group the local Success By 6 (SB6) and the Campbell River Family Network has been working with many agencies and volunteers on resources and opportunities for families in Campbell River and the surrounding area.
The volunteer members of the Community Council bring a diverse range of expertise and perspectives to this work as representatives from the business sector, service clubs, City Council, literacy groups, health and social services, Aboriginal services, and School District 72.
Our Taskforces are comprised of front-line program and service providers whose work involves young children and their families.
The strong network of agencies, coalitions and individuals involved in our efforts has enabled us to do a great deal.
We’ve been up to…providing funding for a broad range of community initiatives and supporting the awareness around the importance of the first six years of a child’s life.
Over the past fifteen months:
Transportation Bus Pass Project (ongoing) designed to reduce and better understand transportation barriers for families with young children. Dr. Tanya Flood (CCoP member) presented to City Council (November 2010) indicating how Local and Provincial transportation research indicates some effective options for creating positive change for young families. The following options were asked of council to address the needs in Campbell River:
— Provide free transit for both the child who is 6 years and under and the adult accompanying the child; anytime, any day; (including pregnant moms).
— Meet agencies $1 for $1 on tickets that they will continue to purchase for adults travelling without children
— Add more free transit for community family events eg. The Children’s Health Fair Day, Ocean’s Day
“Gathering Place” – Robron Partnership Project was showcased to the government when Mary Polak was visiting Campbell River in May 2010. The Gathering Place is a Child and Family Centre that was established to address the needs of the neighbourhood. The expansion of the afterschool program from Monday to Friday funded through an RBC grant ($40,000, Oct 2010) and supported through the partners (Laichwiltach, CR Family Services, Literacy Now and Parks and Rec). The Early Learning Programs are supported through PacificCare, StrongStart (School District 72) and Laichwiltach (Aboriginal HeadStart). A $10,000 Aboriginal ECD grant was awarded to assist with replacement of the surface of the tot playground.
Cedar Grove Family Place – Partnership Project stage 2 The Robron partnership project has been so successful the ECD Community is working with BC Housing and M’Akola Housing to expand services to other complexes. Family Place (early learning drop-in program) will be established first at Cedar Grove, and Parks and Rec are looking to partner as well.
Children’s Health Fairs (February 2011) to provide screening (vision, dental, developmental, speech) and information from many services and agencies (i.e. VIHA, car seat safety, literacy, AIDP and supportive child development, parks, rec and culture). School District 72 provides the venue. Approximately 300 community members attend the event, approximately 50 service providers provide their services and 12 volunteers provide their services. The City of Campbell River and BC Transit partnered with the planning committee to provide free service from 9 am to 5 pm for any caregiver, parent or grandparent with a child(ren) under the age of 10 to ride the transit system for free on the day of the Health Fair, Febraury 25, 2011. SB6 takes the lead on this event.
Books for Babies (March 2011) is a joint project with Literacy Now to continue to provide books for babies when they are born. Public Health nurses distribute the books during their home visits with the new babies and parents. 350 families in Campbell River benefit from these early literacy bags. Not only did Success By 6 donate $1000, Success By 6 also donated the Campbell River Family Network bags and a booklet on development, The First Five Years.
Campbell River Family Services – Maternal Health Workshop– a recognized need/gap in the community is the issue around Mental Health, prenatal and postnal. CR Family Services is hosting a full day workshop presented by Sara Newth, Vancouver BC. The workshop is open to 50 front line workers.
Village Sayward - for Family Connections Coordinator to organize parent workshops, health fair and provide early learning materials where needed.
Quadra Children’s Centre - Host a parent workshop on “Play” at Quadra Elementary school and an interactive “play”workshop with children held at the Vancouver Island Regional Library in Heriot Bay. The community recognized the need to address “play” with the concerns of full day Kindergarten.
Chamber of Commerce Business Awards – SB6 sponsors and supports the Family Friendly Business Award each year. Members of the CCoP give time to review applications and determine the successful candidate according to criteria met. Builds awareness in the business community to have their place of business geared to being family friendly, welcoming to families.
High School “Early Year” Presentations (ongoing) was developed to address the key messages around the early development of children (birth to 6 years) to high school children. In partnership with the school district, these presentations are being held in grade 10 planning courses, grade 12 psychology and family studies.
City Council and Rotary Club Presentations (spring and fall 2010) – Dr. Tanya Flood presented the latest Early Develoment Instrument and the work being done in the community to address the needs to both Rotary clubs and City Council.
Early Years Workshop Series (ongoing) – the Working Group has identified some training needs in the ECE Community. The task group has worked hard to bring the ECE community and Kindergarten teachers together to learn from one another. This process has taken a long time. The ECE Community has addressed concerns with the implementation of Full Day Kindergarten. A joint workshop partnered with the School District was held on Sept 1 presented by Deborah McNamara (a presenter who helps make sense out of children’s behaviour using real life examples), for school district employees and the ECE community and service providers. A parent workshop was held in the evening presented by Deborah McNamara. The task group has started to address the need of parent workshops and is working with the school district and the District Parent Advisory Committee to host workshops on “Play”, addressing the concerns parents have around full day kindergarten.
ECD Planning Event (end March 2010) about 25 community members, school district staff and business came together to create a vision for the ECD community. The event was facilitated by Tracy Smythe and Tammy Delware. The outcome of the event was to create a direction for the community with reduced coordinator hours. A strong feeling of creating a Non-profit society of the CR Family Network came from the day.
Campbell River Family Network website (ongoing) – maintaining the Campbell River Family Network website, a site made for Campbell River specifically for families in our region. The website has information on local services and programs, issues of interest to parents and caregivers of young children, and fun activities and outings for families. Take a peak, www.crfamilynetwork.ca.
Children’s Festival Canada Day – SB6 supports the annual event by hosting a craft table for children and provide early years information for parents.
Family Literacy Day (January 27, 2011) - SB6 supports the event in Campbell River and on Quadra Island by sitting on the planning committee and the day of event. Free to the community.
National Child Day (November 19, 2010) – SB6 supports the event by sitting on the planning committee and attending the event. Free to families and their young children.
SB6 Calendars – distributed 700 early years calendars in Campbell River, Gold River, Sayward and Quadra.
Gold River – rebuilding the connections and networking table after a shift of service providers in the community. Funds support early literacy kits for the Vancouver Island Regional Library and Mother Goose literacy materials.
Cortes – supporting Family Coordinator and rebuilding the networking group between Campbell River and Cortes
EDI - uses the data to build workshops, or programming in the community. Joanne Schroeder visited Campbell River on January 21, 2011 to address our vulnerable areas and how we can work on improving the areas. The two areas of concern on the last two EDI: emotional, and physical and health. We also use feedback from parents, service providers and surveys at health fairs for the Campbell River ECD plan.
Campbell River Families insert – two editions (May and October 2010) which contain parenting articles and info, calendar of free early learning drop in programs in the community. These inserts are done in partnership with the Campbell River Mirror.
Family Gym - through recent EDI data results showed an increase in vulnerability in the physical domain. Funds support Friday Parks and Rec Family Gym at the Sportsplex to increase participation.
To find out more about any of these initiatives or to provide input, please contact the Campbell River Early Years Coordinator, Cheryl Jordan @ firstname.lastname@example.org