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Opening Doors for Children & Families

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"Early childhood professionals who want to prevent conflicts often choose to simply forbid certain activities. Instead I encourage you to ask, "How can I make sure a positive experience happens?" rather than "Should I permit this experience at all?" Dan Hodgins, author of Boys: Changing The Classroom not the Child, wrote that profound statement. If you are an early childhood professional, parent, keeper of the children, or any of the sort, I encourage you to ponder this. Personally, everything about this is impactful, even the title of the book screams at me as our first question at ABC Head...

At ABC Head Start we have the best teachers in the world. Am I biased? Maybe, slightly...but seriously our staff give so much of themselves everyday to the children and families we support. It's not an easy job, but our dedicated employees wouldn't have it any other way. They thrive on the challenges and delight in the successes of the children and families. But even the best human services workers need a cheering section, a little reminder of why we do what we do. And who better to send that message than Kid President. Thank you, teachers, and by teachers I mean ALL ABC Head Start employees...

Here in Canada we are inundated with news from our neighbours to the south. Every time you turn around recently it seemed all we were hearing was about the government shutdown in the United States of America. Living in Canada it is hard to comprehend what impact it would have until you are experiencing it.

In the U.S.A, Head Start is a federally funded program. It started in 1965 as part of the "War On Poverty" led by the Johnson administration. The federal budget for Head Start in the United States is over $8 billion, which makes up the majority of the Head Start's budgets. Things are a bit...

Here at ABC Head Start, and in the entire learning community, we often debate what are the essential life skills, the areas of development we should be fostering in young children. I know I have blogged about it in the past and mentioned things like fostering curiosity and problem solving.

This week in an “Exchange EveryDay” email, I found a wonderful list I would like to share. First, I highly recommend you sign up for this free email – Exchange EveryDay. It is one of those daily emails I look forward to receiving and has valuable tips and the latest research and news for parents or anyone...

I'm sure most of you have a fond memory of reading, or being read to, as a child. Maybe it was your parents, your siblings or a favourite teacher. I am a spurt-reader (a term I just made up) meaning I read in spurts. Sometimes I read a lot, sometimes I don't pick up a book for months. Right now I am reading a lot. My Kobo even told me "I Eat Books For Lunch" - I think that may just mean I usually read around lunch time which is true on the weekends. There is no doubt about it, reading is so great for your brain! I absolutely notice a difference in my thinking and articulation when I am...

Since I am a reality show junkie, I tuned into a new show. It is a spin off of one of my favourites, called Junior MasterChef. I tuned in quite hesitantly because the thought of children competing on a reality show made my ethics kick up in the pit of my stomach. However it turned out to be quite endearing & entertaining. The children had cooking skills that far surpassed my own, with one child chopping at the speed of light with only his eyes and nose peering over the counter due to his height. They plated meals that looked like they came straight out of the Hardware Grill kitchen, and...

I graduated from my degree at Mount Royal University in 2004. The job market was pretty great. I can’t say I was particularly concerned about getting a job; in fact I had job offers before I had officially graduated. Not to say it wasn’t intimidating, with years spent in an academic bubble I had no idea how to navigate the corporate world. I remember being told, “With your degree you will just step right into management roles.” Not the case. Let’s face it, that doesn’t happen to very many people although for some reason I think new graduates are led to believe that.

This week I had the...

Play. It is described as so many things; an activity for enjoyment, the work of a child, a voluntary and intrinsically motivated action. Once you start to study play you will learn there are many different types of play; parallel play, solitary play, cooperative play. It is a hot topic in the field of early learning and at ABC Head Start. You can often watch ABC Head Start staff observing the classroom and saying things like "Wow, look at them engage so beautifully in cooperative play!" Ok well maybe you hear that more in June, then in September but either way, we are obsessed with play. And...

This week, a fellow non-profit agency experienced a great deal of hardship when fire destroyed one of their service centers. On Monday, a fire broke out at the Bissell Centre's sorting area of the Thrift Shoppe. The Thrift Shoppe is a social enterprise of Bissell Centre providing low income families and individuals a venue for purchasing high-quality products at very affordable prices. It is a critical service in our city.

In July, I decided to do something I had never done before...have a garage sale. This was no small feat as my basement was full of boxes from my recent move. My mother even...

I heard something on the radio this morning I could totally relate to. The morning show host was talking about how teachers returning to work after having two months off are like survivors of a northern BC plane crash. That for two months they have just been wandering around eating moss and berries, and they were rescued and expected to just go right back to work. After being off for that period of time it's true, you are are a little rusty.

I would argue ABC Head Start staff have one of the most demanding, challenging jobs in the world. Once those children and families walk through the door...

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Every dollar matters. By supporting ABC Head Start you will give children the skills they need to be successful in their educational journey and support families to transition out of poverty, become healthy and self-reliant. Donate to ABC Head Start today and start making a difference in the lives of children, families and our communities.

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