September Newsletter

August 30, 2019


2910 St. George Street
Vancouver, BC V5T 4L9
Executive Director's Autumn Report 
Dear Members
September at the Family Drop in is typically an extremely busy month with families returning from vacations and picking up their local routines.  Fortunately for everyone, the Family Drop in remains steady and we are fortunate that Maria, Ewa, Flora and Alma, led by our Program Manager, Betisa remain devoted to supporting your visits and ensuring our programs are warm and welcoming. 
Close by, at the Early Years Refugee Program our staff team (Theresa, Manjit, Jasmine, Laila), are adjusting once again to a new schedule and increased case load while they welcome new arrivals from Syria, Iraq, Iran and the Congo and anticipate the return of Maaly (Family & Child Settlement Worker) from her maternity leave.  Farnaz and Rashida however, remain steady at the Welcome to Canada  Family Drop in program located at the ISS Welcome Centre on Victoria Drive  and look forward to welcoming local and refugee families for their specialized programs including the circles of learning and fun!
Regarding our Board of Directors, Mount Pleasant Family Centre Society will be welcoming 3 inspiring new Board members at our October AGM. We are incredibly fortunate to have 10 returning Directors who bring a wealth of knowledge, experience and passion to our mission.  And lastly, I want to give a heartfelt THANK YOU, to Anthony Fast and Alexis Stoymenoff who have dedicated so much of their time and energy to our collective wellbeing and who will be leaving the Board this October! 
In closing, please join us on October 15th at the ISS Welcome Centre for our AGM when we celebrate the 10th anniversary of our Circles of Care and Connection Program (early years refugee program).  For more detailed information please check with the Drop in staff team and I will look forward to meeting you at the AGM.

With kind regards, 
Gini Bonner
Executive Director, MPFCS
Featured Board Member of the Month: Klara Cigankova

I first attended the Mount Pleasant Family Centre when my son Frank was 4 months old, and it took only 30 minutes for me to realize how amazing it was. When I arrived on that rainy day, I received a warm welcome, one of the staff took Frank to the play area, and I was told to have a little rest and some snacks. I became quite emotional, because the idea of someone taking care of my child and me seemed very special. Frank is now almost 2 years old and we continue coming to the Family Centre twice a week. It’s a pleasure to be there, and we always feel so supported by the amazing staff, who quickly became part of our extended family.

Like many people in Vancouver, my extended family lives in another part of the world. Because of this, I have sometimes felt lonely and isolated, particularly when Frank was first born and my family was not around. I was happy with my husband and my in-laws, but I still felt that something was missing. I think I just wanted Frank to be around more family; he needed some cousins, some aunties, and some uncles, and so did I! I feel that we got that family at the Family Centre—we got a whole bunch of amazing ‘aunties’, all the incredible staff, who Frank adores, and who have helped him grow as a little man, and helped me grow as a mother.

Through the Family Centre, I have also become more connected to other parents. Before I became a mom, I expected it would be easy to connect with other parents when I was out with the baby. But it wasn’t easy at all! I did meet many parents and their children during different activities and programs, and we did make some small talk, but to get really connected with someone was difficult. I felt I needed a "parent matchmaker" who was not sleep deprived, stressed, or distracted by watching their running toddler. At the Family Centre, I got something very close to this matchmaker: I got a group of lovely staff who facilitated conversations with other parents, and who provided a wonderful, safe space where I could forget my stresses and distractions, and focus on connecting with other parents.

I really can’t imagine what I would do without the Family Centre; it’s truly a home away from home. It has given me so much, so I joined the Board of Directors last year to try to give a little back. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for the Family Centre, and I’m very excited that I get to be a part of it.

Become a member
Goodbye Ana!
We would like to take this opportunity to give a warm goodbye to our summer student Ana, her hard work and dedications were an important part of our team. She proved to us every day that she is a great addition to any team that is lucky to have her as her enthusiasm and her intelligence helped our job become easier every day. As she turns a page in her life, we join together in wishing her every success in all her future endeavors.
Best wishes to you Ana
Family Drop-In 

Annual Participant Survey
Family Resource Programs (FRP) Canada has put together an online participant survey. We will use this information as an evaluation tool for ourselves and to customize our programs for you. The survey will close at the end of September, so please take a few minutes to follow the link below and provide us with your insight!
Even in September, Your Membership Counts!
Annual membership runs from May 1st to April 30th, and costs $45 per year. Membership fees are a much needed part of our annual revenue and help fund our Family Drop-In program, parent education workshops, special events and seasonal celebrations
Membership is an integral part of community participation and an effective way to contribute to our sustainability. If you did not have a membership or renewed, please go directly to our membership page, or when you visit the Family Centre, you can pay using cash, credit card, or cheque. Please speak to our staff and they will help you

Every Saturday morning: 9:30 - 11:30 AM Dads Drop-In All Dads/male caregivers are welcome to bring their kids and make connections with other dads in a well-resourced early learning environment!

September 2, Monday: Labour Day Holiday The Family Centre is closed today

September 3 - 6: During the Drop-In Grandparents' Day Crafts All week there will be special crafts to honour grandparents. Grandparents' Day is September 8

September 9 - 13: During the Drop-In Moon Festival Crafts All week there will be special crafts in preparation for the Moon Festival. Moon Festival is September 13

Second Thursday of each month, Storytime with Negar: During morning Drop-in. Come meet our Family Support Worker, Negar and enjoy stories and song with her at our playroom!

Sep 13, Friday: 9:30 - 11:30 AM Family Drop-In, all families/caregivers are welcome to bring their kids for extra morning of playtime

Sep 20, Friday: 9:30 - 11:30 AM Family Drop-In, all families/caregivers are welcome to bring their kids for extra morning of playtime

Sep 24, Tuesday: 10:30 AM Fire Drill during morning Drop-In. It can be a fun and/or interesting experience, but it will definitely be a different sort of day for everyone. We will use a hand-held bell to alert the beginning of the drill

Last Wednesday of each month, Living Language Institute: 2:15 - 2:45 PM during afternoon Drop-In. We are very pleased to welcome Living Language Institute to play folk-song games at our playroom. Family participation is required

Sep 27, Friday: 9:30 - 11:30 AM Family Drop-In, all families/caregivers are welcome to bring their kids for extra morning of playtime
Oct 4-Dec 13 – Friday mornings (every two weeks): Nobody’s Perfect is a parent support education group that allows parents to get a better understanding of their children’s development and meet other parents. Participants must be current members of the Family Centre. Please contact Flora for more information at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

October 7 - 8: National Family Week in Canada, this week we celebrate families! The playroom will have family-themed crafts and activities
October 9- 10: Thanksgiving Day Activity The playroom will have Thanksgiving Day-themed crafts and activities
Oct 14, Monday: Thanksgiving Day Holiday The Family Centre is closed today

Please save the date of October 15, Tuesday: 5:30 – 7:30 pm. All current members and guests are welcome to join us for Annual General Meeting at ISS welcome Centre, 2610 Victoria Drive, Vancouver for 10th anniversary of the Circles of Care and Connection/ Early Years Refugee Program. The details will be announced! Childcare will be provided!

Oct 15 – Nov 29, Tuesdays PM and Fridays AM: ABC Time On these days, we close off part of our playroom to run a small kindergarten readiness program. The drop-in is still open, but the play space is smaller! For more information about our ABC program, please speak with Maria or Ewa. A family centre membership is required in order to participate
October 31, Thursday: 9:30 - 11:30 AM Halloween Pumpkin Patch During the drop-in this morning there will be Halloween-themed activities including a patch of tiny pumpkins! Please bring a toonie to help cover the cost of the pumpkins, also please bring the wrapped candies or chocolate for trick or treat. Costumes are optional
Nov 11, Monday: Remembrance Day Holiday The Family Centre is closed today
Circles of Care and Connection Program 
Family Drop-In Hours:
Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Fridays from 9:30 – 11:30 AM
Tuesdays & Wednesday from 1:00 – 3:00 PM
Sound, Movement and Play - Tuesdays, 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM.
Fun folk song approach developed by the Living Language Institute that engages children and their parents/caregivers in singing, movement and social play. It’s an easy, fun program for parents with young children.
Check out our website calendar for community visits from the Vancouver Public Librarian, Certified Dental Assistant and Public Health Nurse. 


Welcome our Summer Student!

Ana Tse is going into her fourth year of political science (political theory/environmental politics) at the University of British Columbia. Beyond her studies, she has a strong interest in the non-profit sector and their inner workings, making the position at MPFCS an ideal fit. In her free time, you can find Ana attempting to tackle her never ending to-read list, writing, and watching RuPaul’s Drag Race. Ana will be at MPFCS from June 24 to August 16. Please welcome her to our centre! 

Membership Draw 2019
Congratulations Alison Thorson, the winner of 4 admission tickets TO A VANCOUVER CANADIANS BASEBALL GAME in our 2019 Membership Draw.
Thank you to all our families who have purchased or renewed their memberships, your support is greatly appreciated.
Annual membership runs from May 1st to April 30th and cost $45 per year.
Membership fees are a crucial part of our annual revenue to continue our Family Drop-In program, parent education workshops, special events and seasonal celebrations.
In order to meet our fundraising goal, we need 333 families to purchase/ renew their membership. We continue to accept payment via cash, cheque or credit card.
For more information please talk to any staff at the Family Centre.

Annual Membership - $45
valid from May 2019 – April 30, 2020

Help us reach our goal of 333 memberships!
To purchase a new membership or renew your existing membership
CLICK HEREMembership fees help fund:
  • Family Drop-In Program
  • Parent Education Courses
  • Special Events
Opportunities & Benefits include:
  • Pay $2 per visit for families/$2 per child for caregiver
  • Participation in Parent Education Courses & ABC Program
  • Access to Parent Resource Library
  • To serve on MPFCS Board of Directors
  • Attend and vote in our AGM
  • Birthday party rentals in the Playroom
Talk to staff for more details

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Mount Pleasant Family Centre invites families with children 0 to 6 years old to become a member. Members are entitled to free drop-in programming, a supervised playroom, a comfortable space for adults to talk and meet other parents and caregivers, and much more.

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