Thank you for the article on August 23 ‘Mayor (Kevin Acton) camping for social services’, showing his support for the Whitevalley Community Resource Centre’s Legacy Fund.
As the early years community development co-ordinator for the North Okanagan Early Childhood Development Coalition, I have worked closely with Whitevalley and its executive director Gay Jewitt for many years.
Our mandate is to support healthy development of children ages zero to six in the North Okanagan, including Vernon, Lumby, Cherryville, Lavington, Coldstream, Armstrong, Spallumcheen and Falkland.
WCRC has been a very key player in this initiative for almost a decade. It is inspiring to see how such a small agency can have such a great impact on the communities it serves and work so hard to support families with young children.
Often these families are experiencing the very real challenges of unemployment, poverty, a parent leaving the family for large portions of the year to seek work, and the many day-to-day challenges of raising children in rural communities.
The Vernon School District and HELP/UBC undertakes the early development instrument with kindergarten children every year to collect data on the impact of community early childhood supports on children’s vulnerability when they enter the school system.
Although the Lumby/Cherryville area has many of the factors that could negativity impact children’s readiness, the services provided by WCRC and the Lumby and Area Early Childhood Development Committee have played a crucial role in mitigating those challenges as shown in the EDI data for the area.
We know that 90 per cent of a child’s brain develops in the first five years and sets the foundation for everything that comes after.
WCRC is building the foundation for future citizens of Lumby and area.
I encourage all community members to support its Legacy Fund and ensure healthy, supported and productive citizens for years to come.
Early years community
development co-ordinator NOECDC