I wonder how many parents or caregivers are aware of the StrongStart program at John Allison Elementary School? I know I wasn’t until recently. The hours are 9-noon Monday to Thursday and 11-2 p.m. on Friday
StrongStart is a free program, funded by the BC Government, and is a very good resource for children from babies until 5, providing a safe and fun place to learn social interaction skills with peers and adults so an easy way to prepare for kindergarten if older. “Teacher Erin” (Williams) is an excellent teacher and the children all respond very well to her, whether with crafts, learning songs or the use of daily manners. She obviously enjoys her job and is always open to suggestions of new ideas. (No, I didn’t know her before now.)
As a parent or caregiver must be with their child, this is also a good time for adult interaction as well as discussions about parenting if someone has concerns. Although I was a Pediatric Nurse for over 40 years, I am not a parent so it’s good learning for me too as a caregiver.
The child I am with loves the structure that the 3 hour sessions have and it makes activity switches much easier for him and others. How many toddlers do you know that are “eager” to help clean up and put away toys to get ready for a snack? A (free) healthy snack is provided each day by Erin and many of us love her “Muffin Mondays”. On Fridays, a hot lunch, again prepared by Erin, is provided for the children as well as the adults.
Why not come out and try this program? The toddler I am with as his caregiver loves to come to school, play with the trains especially, read books, run in the gym and has learned to speak much better in just a few months. I can’t begin to explain how much he has blossomed since attending. I see the same happy progress in all the children involved.