Early Childhood Family events at Kamsack said huge success

Victoria School’s Early Childhood Family events, which are aimed at Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten families, have continued to be a huge success, according to Chantel Kitchen, a teacher involved with the program.

“In addition to the $1,500 funding that was received from Affinty Credit Union in November, we also received a $3,000 grant from the Community Initiatives Fund, Kitchen said. “These two grants have allowed us to offer a wider variety of activities, as well as including a meal at each event.

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“In addition, we have also received $1,300 from the Early Literacy Foundation to fund any literacy related activities in our family programming.

“In December we had a Skate with Santa event,” she said. “This included a lunch, skating and Christmas-themed activities. Santa gifted every child in attendance with a book aimed at encouraging families to develop literacy skills together.

“Our January event was a hit, thanks to the community volunteers who led a wide variety of activities for us,” she said. “We had an arts and physical activity night where families were invited to participate in activities throughout the school led by numerous community members who all graciously volunteered their time to be with us.

Among the participants were: Stephen Rutten, who led soccer; AnnaLee Parnetta, who led Ukrainian dance; James Chartrand, who led First Nation cultural activities; Maureen Humeniuk, who led Piyo activities; Catherine Maksymetz, who led yoga; Nikki Larson, who led story and craft time, and Aleksandra Stakusz, who led snowshoeing.

Families also enjoyed apple/chicken quesadillas and fruit for supper, Kitchen said. The recipes were taken from the Food Flair resource that the teachers in the program received last year through Healthy Start training.

This resource includes hundreds of easy healthy recipes and ways to involve kids in the cooking process, she said.

“We have many upcoming events planned,” she said. The group was to have taken a bus trip to swim with families in Swan River on February 17, when families in the two programs were able to take part in this activity free of charge because of the grand funding.

“In March, we will be hosting supper and a magic show for families as well,” she said.

April will bring an exciting IMPACT event, hosted jointly by the school, Regional KidsFirst and numerous other partnering agencies, she said. The theme of this event will be “under the sea” with numerous fun and educational activities and stations set up in the Victoria School gym. A lunch will also be included following the activities.

“This event will not only be open to families enrolled in our programming, but also to other families in the community with pre-school aged kids and families that may be interested in applying for our school’s programs in the fall,” she said. The event is scheduled to take place on the morning of April 28. Information will be made available in March at the school, the Family Resource Center and at the New Beginnings Outreach Centre.

Activities will also be planned for May and June, with details to follow. These events are often outdoor events, including a family day at the Victoria School garden to plant this year’s crop of vegetables.

At the final family activity of Pre-K each year, the Pre-Kindergarten graduation, the students all receive a Kindergarten readiness package including literacy and numeracy activities and supplies, she said. These include books, notepads, crayons, scissors, glue, dice, a deck of cards, playdough and more. The bags this year will be sponsored through the ELF literacy grant.