Newsletter

September Newsletter

September 8, 2020

 


2910 St. George Street
Vancouver, BC V5T 4L9
604-872-6757
www.mpfamilycentre.ca
SEPTEMBER NEWSLETTER
Executive Director's Autumn Report

REMINDER: Please support MPFCS by purchasing your membership today!

Dear Members,
Welcome to the “dog days of summer”, when the days grow shorter, the evenings grow cooler and under normal circumstances families prepare for the beginning of the school year and look forward to joining community programs and fall activities.  Well this year things are a little different….however,  here at the Family Centre staff remain busy facilitating Family Time, Story Time, Dads Drop in, curbside visits, food hamper deliveries, creating activity kits and organizing special outdoor events to ensure that families with young children are well supported and remain connected to our staff teams.
Successful summer programming has now transformed into multiple sessions of face to face outdoor programs that will continue into the fall providing the weather cooperates.  To be honest MPFCS is planning one month at a time and has been holding off reintroducing our regular daily programs  indoors in the hopes that the return to school and the opening of community centers will demonstrate a positive outcome signalling that we are good to go!
In the meantime…MPFCS is preparing for our Annual General Meeting via zoom conferencing where we will conclude the year-end business of the Society as well as vote in our 2021-2022 Board of Directors.  During our AGM we will welcome "guest speaker and former board member Alexis Stoymenoff, who  will provide insight on some of the interconnected movements that are converging to fight for environmental, social and racial justice."
To vote at the AGM you must be a member of the Society so in preparation for the AGM please ensure your membership is up to date!


With kind regards, 
Gini Bonner
Executive Director, MPFCS
MPFCS Anti-Racism Statement
 
The Mount Pleasant Family Centre Society stands against racism. We stand in solidarity with people who have suffered from racial injustice. Black lives matter. Indigenous lives matter. We are angered and saddened by the ongoing experience of Black, Indigenous, and/or People of Colour within our community, and globally. We have spent the last few weeks reflecting on the persistence of systemic racism in our communities and we condemn the rise of anti-Asian racism that has occurred in light of the recent global pandemic.
We have the honour of working with families with young children from diverse backgrounds, and this is a huge opportunity for us to work forward towards change. We must recognize our role within these systems, our privilege, and our responsibility to educate ourselves and to take actions to make the world a better place for all children.
Some of our next steps include taking a critical look at our programs to identify how to make them more inclusive. We will also be collecting and sharing resources about race-based discrimination and inviting more members of the community to join us. As we begin this work we are open to feedback and accountability. We are always listening and learning.

Sending love and peace,
MPFCS Staff and Board of Directors


Please click HERE for the list of anti-racism books available at our centre for children  
Notice of Annual General Meeting
Mount Pleasant Family Centre Society wishes to inform you of our Annual General Meeting to be hosted on the zoom platform
Date and Time: Oct 20, 2020 07:00 PM Pacific Time
(US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting
AGM
Meeting ID: 833 8311 5175
Passcode: 077248
Board Member Posting
Introduction We provide child-centered programs that nurture healthy growth and development for all families. Members of the Board inspire others to share their talents with the Family Centre community and support the society’s mission, vision and values.
Our Mission: Inspiring families to build caring relationships with each other and the broader community.

MPFCS is currently seeking Board Members who have marketing, communication and fundraising expertise.

Time commitment: Five to ten hours per month (meetings, preparation, events)
Term: Two years, appointed or elected annually at the Annual General Meeting
Accountability: The Board of Directors is collectively accountable to clients and their families, the community, funders and other stakeholders. They are accountable for the Society’s performance in realizing its mission and achieving its goals, and for the effective stewardship of financial and human resources and for the overall quality of supports to clients.
Authority: Individual board members have no authority to direct or make requests of the executive director or staff, or to speak on behalf for the Society unless given such authority by the board.
Responsibility:  Board members are responsible for acting in the best long-term interests of the organization and the community and will bring to their deliberations a broad knowledge, a long-range view and openness to learning. Clients or family members of clients who serve on the board are expected to keep their board and client or family member support roles separate and will be treated the same as other clients or family members in matters related to the provision of Society services.
Principle Duties: Every member of the Board of Directors, including the Board’s officers, is expected to do the following:
  • Prepare for and participate in board meetings
  • Listen to others’ views, advocate their own, identify common interests and alternatives, and be open to compromise
  • Support governance decisions once made
  • Participate in the development of a strategic plan to help guide future decisions
  • Purchase an annual membership and make a personal donation whenever possible
  • Sell tickets to our annual fundraising event
  • Recruit sponsors, as needed
  • Identify and cultivate potential donors
Featured Staff of the Month: Alma Tuliao
My name is Alma. I am from Philippines and I arrived in Canada as a caregiver in 1998. I took Community Support Worker course thinking to work for seniors but had to change plan when I did my practicum at South Burnaby Neighborhood House and helped in their drop-in program. Being with people and having meaningful interactions was what change my mind and decided to apply at the family centre. I have been working here for 15 years and have met incredible and supportive co- workers and the families that attend the program, all are wonderful.
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Family Drop-In 


September

Drop-In for Parents/ Caregivers- Please join Betisa every Monday morning from 10-10:30 am for the Drop-In program on Zoom, where you can meet other parents/ caregivers to build community connections and receive support. Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for registration and to receive an invite.

Outdoor Drop-In- Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday morning from 10:30 -11:30 am we will offer an outdoor Family Drop-in program with an emphasis on outdoor play! Activities will include bubbles, balls, games and nature exploration, followed by classic Family Time songs.

Family Time- First thing Tuesday and Thursday mornings, we will post a new video recording of Family Time favourites brought to you by the familiar faces of Maria, Ewa, Alma, and Negar. Family Time will include songs, stories and art activities for you and your little ones to enjoy!

Dads' Drop-In- Please join Negar and Isabelle every Saturday morning for a special Drop-in program for Dads/male caregivers and children. Dad's programming will alternate between an in-person outdoor program and a video recording of Family Time. Please check our website calendar and our Facebook page for more details.
The last session of Dads' Drop-In program in September will be Sep 12th and program will be reopen on Oct 3rd.  

Storytime with Negar- Every Thursday morning, we will post a new video recording of storytime with Negar, including many favourite stories and songs for you and your little ones to enjoy!

Baby Drop in- Every Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 1-3 pm, we will offer an outdoor Baby Drop-In Program. During these drop-ins, staff focus discussions on the ways parental attachment can support an infant's healthy growth and development, have fun and build connections!

One to One Parent Hotline- When you need just a little bit more support, follow up with Flora by Phone! Whether it's about eating, sleeping or surviving isolation with a toddler, let's continue searching for ways to support children and preserve parent's mental health. Give Flora a call, Monday to Friday, 9-4 pm at 236-788-3349 

Curbside/Playground Chats- For those of you who have ever taken a parenting class with us, you know the time flies by too quickly, and you are often left wishing for just one more session! Therefore with this in mind, Flora will be visiting you to offer just a little more 1:1 support. If you would like to sign up for a curbside chat or meet Flora in the Family Centre playground, please contact Flora to book an appointment: 236-788-3349.

Toy Lending Library & Activity Kits- MPFCS has a great selection of developmentally appropriate toys, games, puzzles, books and weekly craft kits for young children, toddlers, and preschoolers that we are pleased to share with member families. Toy lending will be offered Wednesday and Thursday from 11:30 -2:30 pm.
If these times don't work for you, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and we will try our best to accommodate you.

Friday Fieldtrips with MPFCS staff- Join MPFCS staff on Friday, September 18th and 25th from 10:30 am to 11:30 am

September 18 - Science World Park (meet in front of the main entrance of Science World)
September 25 - Douglas Park (meet near playground/basketball court area)
Social distancing protocols apply. If you are sick, please stay home.

Outdoor Drop-In! Drop-In team and CCC team doing outdoor circle time and activities with families at the park
Circles of Care and Connection Program 
ISSofBC Welcome Centre
3rd Floor Playroom
2610 Victoria Drive

- The Child and Family Settlement Workers (CFSWs) continue to do curbside delivery of items mentioned above, while connecting with each family at a safe and social distance. Each CFSW also communicates with their caseload via email, phone calls and ZOOM/videos. 

- The Playroom staff continue to produce activity kits containing art and craft supplies, books and games for the current families who live at ISS, as well as, families on our caseload. As well, the CCC Playroom staff have been providing outdoor park programming alongside the Drop-In Playroom staff.
This is Maaly, one of our CFSWs, delivering her weekly food box and activity kits to one of our families. And check out the creations from our littlest artists. These activity kits are continuing to be created by the Playroom staff.

 

June Newsletter

May 28, 2020

 


2910 St. George Street
Vancouver, BC V5T 4L9
604-872-6757
www.mpfamilycentre.ca
JUNE NEWSLETTER
Executive Director's Spring Report 
 
Dear Members

Wow!  What can I say?  These are strange times for all of us and particularly if in the past your daily routine included visiting our playroom and enjoying the good company of other parents and the wonderful  personal interactions with the Family Support Workers in the Family Drop in. Since March 2020,  we have reached out to as many families as we have had contact information for and we are learning a variety of new ways to show we sincerely care about the children and families in our community.  While we are not experts with social media and many of us are very shy to be recorded and on display, I think the staff at the Family Centre is doing an amazing job staying connected with families and we are doing our best to fulfill our your needs and to maintain appropriate safety protocols.  All of the adapted services we are now offering are listed on our website at www.mpfamilycentre.ca and I encourage you to have look – if you see something missing let us know!   In addition I want to take this opportunity to promote our membership and to ask each of you to renew and then ask a friend or neighbour to become a new member!  The small revenue that we gather through membership demonstrates to our funders that we are valued and essential to a happy, healthy and thriving community.
 
I hope you are doing OK and enjoying this novel time at home – Ho'oponopono
 
With kind regards, 
Gini Bonner
Executive Director, MPFCS
Gone but never forgotten! Janice Bavis

Sadly, on April 23, 2020 Janice Elizabeth Bavis slipped away in the loving company of her family. Janice was a long time playroom volunteer and great friend of the staff at Mount Pleasant Family Centre Drop in and a very special woman indeed.  Janice rose to the many challenges of Down Syndrome over the years to lead a full and productive life. One of the first special needs students to be integrated in the 70's, she attended her local school and joined in many community activities.

After graduation, she volunteered many hours at West Side Family Place and Arbutus Montessori, and her favourite Mount Pleasant Family Centre. Her indomitable spirit led her to overcome many health crises in her life. 
All of us at Mount Pleasant Family Centre Society wishes to send heartfelt condolences to the Baivs family and close relatives and wants to ensure you all that Janice has left an indelible mark on our hearts and on our lives.

Gone but never forgotten!



MAY IS MEMBERSHIP MONTH - PLEASE SHOW US SOME LOVE!

Dear participants and supporters of the Mount Pleasant Family Centre Society
It’s that time of year again when we are reaching out to ask for your financial contributions to our programs by renewing your MPFCS Membership.  As a special thanks to those of you who renew before May 30th we will enter your name in a draw for a MPFCS Gift Basket that includes: 25$ Coupon for the Vancouver Farmers Markets, 3 Family Activity Kits, and 4 tickets to the Capilano Suspension Bridge (valid for one year), and a $75 Gift Card for Buy Low Foods generously donated by the MPFCS Board Members.
While we recognize the uncertainty of the future we hope that you will consider our services as a vital part of your support network going forward. Membership fees are a critical part of our annual revenue and help fund our Family Drop in, parent education, workshops, special event and seasonal celebrations.  Membership is an integral part of community participation and an effective way to contribute to our sustainability.
Benefits of Membership
  • Invitation to participate and vote at our Annual General Meeting and enjoy a special night of information sharing
  • The opportunity to serve on the MPFCS Board of Directors
  • The opportunity to join one of our fundraising committees and gain valuable knowledge and skills
  • Eligible to rent the playroom for your children’s birthday parties –including staff support
  • May be eligible to register for ABC time, adult workshops and parent education programs
Annual membership runs from May 1st to April 30th and cost $45 per year.
If you would like to sign for membership or want to renew an existing membership  please go directly to our membership page
Featured board member of the Month: Bernadette Aquino

Growing up, I was taught to appreciate the little things life brings. Every challenge and their reward, every success and failure, as well as every person you encounter and form relationships with. For they are what shaped us into who we are today.
Everyone is going through similar challenges, which is why we must be kind. Offer a helping hand, or an ear to listen. It need not be grand gestures to show you care.
Uncertain times make everyone vulnerable. It is during these times we must exemplify what it is to be compassionate and caring humans. To bond together, strengthen and support each other.
Here’s hoping that everyone has a great summer! Be safe.

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Become a member
Family Drop-In 

During these unprecedented times due to COVID-19, we have closed our Family Drop in’s and outreach services in order to follow the provincial health guidelines that prevent the spread of COVID-19.  Because of this, we are now creating new ways to support families online. 
Online programming will include recorded video’s of our traditional Family Time with songs, stories and art activities, Parenting Programs, a One to One Parent Hotline, Curbside Chats and Activity Kits, and Story time.
For each and every activity we offer MPFCS staff are observing social distancing and using the utmost care to wash our hands, use protective gloves when necessary and to maintain our high standard of cleanliness!

Family Time
Every Tuesday and Thursday mornings we post a new video recording of Family Time favorites brought to you by the familiar faces of Maria, Ewa, Alma, Negar and Shahira including songs, stories and art activities for you and your little ones to enjoy!
 
Dads’ Drop-In
Negar, Isabelle and Andy are facilitating either a story time, circle time for Dads/male caregivers and children.  Once a month they also host a live zoom coffee time featuring a “conversation starter” suggested by participants.  The first live session on Zoom will be on May 30th at 9:30 am, registration is required with first priority going to dads but everyone is welcome. Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for registration and to receive an invite. 
 
Storytime with Negar
Every Thursday mornings, we will post a new video recording of story time with Negar including your favorite stories and songs for you and your little ones to enjoy!
 
One to One Parent Hotline
When you need just a little bit more support: Follow-up with Flora by Phone!
Flora really misses seeing you all, sitting around the table exploring family issues with you. 
Take heart! You can still connect, by phone!
Whether it's about eating, sleeping or surviving isolation with a toddler, let's continue searching for ways to support children, and preserve parent's mental health.
Give Flora a call, Monday to Friday, 9-4 pm, or by appointment 236-788-3349
 
CurbSide Chats
For those of you who have ever taken a parenting class with us you know the time flies by too quickly and you are often left wishing for just one more session!  Therefore with this in mind Flora will be visiting you (curbside) to offer just a little more 1:1 support.  If you would like to sign up for a curbside chat please don’t hesitate to reach out to Flora on her work cell phone: 236-788-3349 to book at visit.
 
Activity Kits
MPFCS Playroom staff have been busy putting together small activity kits for families to work on at home.  If you would like a kit please let us know during our phone check-in or send us an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will make arrangements to get one to you. Once you have completed your art activity please send us a picture (to the same email address) and we would share the pictures during our videos for you and your children to see!
 
Community Art and Craft
We are sure many of you are so creative when it comes to art and craft, if you would like, you can share your art and craft ideas along with a tutorial video or pictures of how to make that craft for our families and email it to us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  and we can post it in our Facebook.
 
Toy Lending Library
We offer a great selection of developmentally appropriate toys, games, puzzles and books for young children, toddlers and preschoolers as well as adult’s books and parenting resources. If you would like to select the items you wish to borrow please let us know during our phone check-in or send us an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will make arrangements to give you one.
 
***For more information about our online programs please visit our website https://www.mpfamilycentre.ca
and check out our facebook page www.facebook.com/MPFamilyCentre
If you have any suggestions of how we can support you further please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Circles of Care and Connection Program 
ISSofBC Welcome Centre
3rd Floor Playroom
2610 Victoria Drive

COVID-19 has not stopped the Circles of Care and Connection Program Staff from providing our services to the families.
  • Each Child and Family Settlement Worker communicates with their caseload via email, phone calls and ZOOM/videos.
  • Thanks to the Vancouver Foundation’s generous donation, the playroom staff have been producing activity kits containing art and craft supplies, books and games for the current families who live at ISS, as well as, families on our caseload.
  • We created a new partnership with Grandview Woodlands Food Connection, which provide food boxes containing fresh fruit and vegetables plus kitchen staples such as bread, eggs, milk, cheese, rice and yogurt.
  • The CFSWs provide curbside delivery of these boxes, while connecting with each family at a safe and social distance.
 
As Dr. Bonnie Henry would say, “This is our time to be kind, be calm and be safe”. We miss everyone and hope to see you all soon.

Pictured here is Jasmine, one of our CFSWs, delivering a food box and art kit to one of our families. And check out our popular art kits and these creations from our littlest artists!

 
2910 St. George Street
Vancouver, BC V5T 4L9
604-872-6757
www.mpfamilycentre.ca

MAY IS MEMBERSHIP MONTH
MAY IS MEMBERSHIP MONTH - PLEASE SHOW US SOME LOVE!

Dear participants and supporters of the Mount Pleasant Family Centre Society
It’s that time of year again when we are reaching out to ask for your financial contributions to our programs by renewing your MPFCS Membership.  As a special thanks to those of you who renew before May 30th we will enter your name in a draw for a MPFCS Gift Basket that includes: 25$ Coupon for the Vancouver Farmers Markets, 3 Family Activity Kits, and 4 tickets to the Capilano Suspension Bridge (valid for one year), and a $75 Gift Card for Buy Low Foods generously donated by the MPFCS Board Members.

While we recognize the uncertainty of the future we hope that you will consider our services as a vital part of your support network going forward. Membership fees are a critical part of our annual revenue and help fund our Family Drop in, parent education, workshops, special event and seasonal celebrations.  Membership is an integral part of community participation and an effective way to contribute to our sustainability.
Benefits of Membership
  • Invitation to participate and vote at our Annual General Meeting and enjoy a special night of information sharing
  • The opportunity to serve on the MPFCS Board of Directors
  • The opportunity to join one of our fundraising committees and gain valuable knowledge and skills
  • Eligible to rent the playroom for your children’s birthday parties –including staff support
  • May be eligible to register for ABC time, adult workshops and parent education programs
Annual membership runs from May 1st to April 30th and cost $45 per year.
If you would like to sign for membership or want to renew an existing membership please go directly to our membership page
 
 
 

 


2910 St. George Street
Vancouver, BC V5T 4L9
604-872-6757
www.mpfamilycentre.ca
National Volunteer Week April 19-25, 2020


 

March Newsletter

February 26, 2020

 


2910 St. George Street
Vancouver, BC V5T 4L9
604-872-6757
www.mpfamilycentre.ca
MARCH NEWSLETTER
Executive Director's Spring Report 
 
Dear Members

What a beautiful week of sunshine we are having!  It certainly warms my heart and toes to think that the rain and snow are behind us!  Looking forward the Mount Pleasant Family Centre Society Board and staff are gearing up for our annual fundraiser Savour Our Neighbourhood at the Heritage Hall on March 5th.  This year we are highlighting the valuable work we do supporting families to connect with others and create a nurturing and mutually supportive community!   While we recognize that not all of our members will be able to attend this event we want to give you an opportunity to help with our fundraising and will have a number of silent auction items at the Drop in for you to bid on.   All funds raised are dedicated to our program costs and ensure that our services remain status quo.
For more information and to purchase your tickets please visit the Savour Our Neighbourhood 2020  website at https://savourourneighbourhood.ca/ 
We believe that our programs are strength based and family centred and that our staff teams in both the early years refugee program and the family drop in demonstrate authentic care and concern for every family that we serve and we look forward to your ongoing participation!


With kind regards, 
Gini Bonner
Executive Director, MPFCS
Savour Our Neighbourhood: Thursday March 5th, 5:30 to 9:30 PM, please join us for our fabulous fundraiser event and enjoy the fun evening. Tickets include:
  • Dinner by Savoury City Catering, The Georgia Strait's Best of Vancouver's 2019 #1 caterer 
  • Variety show hosted by Jo Dworschak
  • Amazing silent auction and raffles with prizes such as a weekend at Tinhorn Creek Winery, a handmade guitar by Lowden Guitars and many gift certificates from local restaurants and attractions. Check out https://savourourneighbourhood.ca/ for more details on our silent auction. 
Get your tickets at Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/savour-our-neighbourhood-2020-tickets-83916609839
 
Featured volunteer of the Month: Janice Bavis

Janice was born with Down Syndrome and fortunate to be educated at her neighbourhood school and integrated into the community.
After finishing her school years at Gladstone High School she spent several years in a sheltered workshop. Although she had many friends at the workshop she was determined not to spend her days working on an assembly line.
Janice was given the opportunity to volunteer at Mount Pleasant Family Centre Society on Wednesday afternoons and at Westside Family Place on Tuesday mornings.

Now, 30 years later, her Wednesday afternoon volunteer time at MPFCS is the highlight of her week. She loves to see the kids, meet the parents and work with the staff with whom she has made lasting friendships. Her favourite time is the music program and singing along with the children.
Her other favourite day of her week is Sunday when she attends Joy Fellowship where she has been a member of the Sign Language Choir as well as enjoying the services, camps and outreach programs.
Janice is still living at home and her family is grateful to MPFCS for their acceptance and enrichment of Janice life.

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Family Drop-In 

March 5 and 6, Thursday and Friday- Savour Our Neighbourhood event, The Family Centre is closed

March 11, Wednesday: 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

March 27- May 15, Fridays: 9:30 - 11:30 AM Making Sense of Preschoolers Gordon Neufeld provides insight into their shyness, separation anxieties, aggression, resistance, and more. Childcare is provided in the playroom. Cost is $70 for the 7 week course. We ask that you have a current Family Centre membership to participate. For more information, please contact Flora at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

April 10, Friday: Good Friday, The Family Centre is closed today
April 11, Saturday: Long weekend, Dads' Drop-In program is closed today

April 28 – June 12, Tuesday PM- Friday AM:  ABC Time, we close off part of our playroom to run a small kindergarten readiness program. The drop-in is still open, but the playspace is smaller! For more information about our ABC program, please contact Maria at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Ewa at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

May 16, Saturday: Long weekend, Dads' Drop-In program is closed today
May 18, Monday: Victoria Day, The Family Centre is closed today

Please check our event calendar in our website regarding the visit from Community Health Nurses, Librarian and Certified Dental Assistant
Circles of Care and Connection Program 
ISSofBC Welcome Centre
3rd Floor Playroom
2610 Victoria Drive

Family Drop-In Hours:
Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Fridays from 9:30 – 11:30 AM
Tuesdays & Wednesday from 1:00 – 3:00 PM
 
Programming:
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.
 
On February 12, Circles of Care and Connection Program had a visit with the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Marco Mendicino. He had a lovely time in our playroom, talked with our families and the children even showed off their artwork.








 

December Newsletter

January 14, 2020

 


2910 St. George Street
Vancouver, BC V5T 4L9
604-872-6757
www.mpfamilycentre.ca
DECEMBER NEWSLETTER
Executive Director's Winter Report 
 
Dear Members
I can hardly believe that December has arrived and we are half way through the school year!  Since September and my last report the Early Years Refugee Program and the Family Drop in staff have been pretty busy organizing and facilitating not just the day to day programs but also organizing special events including our 43rd Annual General meeting/potluck and the 10th Anniversary celebration of the Circles of Care & Connection Program. 
Highlights from the AGM include a fabulous multicultural dinner, guest speaker, Chris Frieson, Director of Immigrant Services, ISS Welcome Centre and special guests, Jenny Kwan MP and Lisa Dominato, City of Vancouver Councillor. Everyone in attendance enjoyed an inspiring good bye speech from our outgoing Board Chair, Anthony Fast and we were all reminded of how important it is these days to keep our spirits up and to contribute in whatever way we can to healing our world!
These are very challenging times for all families and I want to reaffirm that the Mount Pleasant Family Centre Society staff is here for you and that we all look forward to yet another eventful year full of goodness, peace and joy!

With kind regards, 
Gini Bonner
Executive Director, MPFCS
Please see the pictures below of our 43rd AGM and 10th Anniversary celebration of Circles of Care and Connection Program
Featured staff of the Month: Ewa Paciorek

I was a newcomer to Canada when I joined the Mount Pleasant Family Centre Society over 25 years ago. Initially, I was a volunteer; however, the centre’s inclusive and welcoming environment quickly stole my heart. The rest is history. What has kept me here for so many years are the values of the centre, which greatly resonate with mine. I cherish the children that come to visit, love watching them grow up, and enjoy creating a collaborative learning experience for our members. Running ABC Time and facilitating the Circle of Security parenting program has brought me great joy for these reasons.

Please join us for our annual Christmas Party at Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House on Thursday Dec 5th from 10 AM to 1 PM.
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Family Drop-In 
 
December 5th, Thursday: 10 AM - 1 PM Please join us for our Winter Celebration Party at Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House (800 East Broadway). Activities include a walk through winter wonderland, crafts, cookie decorating, face painting and music. Feel free to bring a seasonal treat (finger food only please). The Family Centre (Drop-In Program) will be closed and no programs will be offered on this day. 

The last day for Family Drop-In is Thursday Dec. 19th before the Winter holidays. Program will reopen on January 6, 2020 with regular program hours.

The Baby Drop-In Program will be open Thursday Dec. 19th for the last session before the holidays. Program will reopen on January 9, 2020.

The Dads’ Drop-In Program will be open Saturday Dec. 14th for the last session before the holidays. Program will reopen on January 11, 2020.

Jan 2020, Fridays: 9:30 AM - 11:30 AM Circles of Security The Circle of Security is a relationship based early intervention program designed to enhance attachment security between parents and children. Participants must be current members of the Family Centre. Please speak with Flora for more information at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Jan 28 – Mar 20, 2020, Tuesdays PM- School Readiness Program/ ABC Time is a free program available to children 4-5 years old and their parents. This program prepares young children entering the school system to improve their language, reading, and social skills. The first day of kindergarten can be stressful for both children and parents, so that the School Readiness program gives families proper tools for creating enriching and supportive learning environments for young children. This program is delivered by well experienced facilitators and guest speakers with very beneficial and informative topics such as: separation anxiety, sleep routine, bullying, family literacy, and social and emotional development.
For more information about our School Readiness /ABC program, please speak with Maria or Ewa. A family centre membership is required in order to participate.
 
Feb 17, Monday: Family Day Holiday The Family Centre is closed today.

Please check our event calendar in our website regarding the visit from Community Health Nurses, Librarian and Certified Dental Assistant.  
 
Circles of Care and Connection Program
ISSofBC Welcome Centre
3rd Floor Playroom
2610 Victoria Drive

 
Family Drop-In Hours:
Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Fridays from 9:30 – 11:30 AM
Tuesdays & Wednesday from 1:00 – 3:00 PM
 
Programming:
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.
 
On November 29th, our Child and Family Settlement Workers assisted the CCC families at the Salvation Army Toy Shop. Parents were able to pick out each of their child’s gifts, which gave them a sense of dignity in a supported and respectful environment. “It was really nice to be able to choose the toys for my
children and surprise them on Christmas day. I would not have been able to buy gifts for them on my own," said one of our families. Another family said, "Our holiday season was made better because of this program. Thank you”. We typically refer over 50 families each year to the Salvation Army Toy Shop program.
 
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September Newsletter

August 30, 2019

 


2910 St. George Street
Vancouver, BC V5T 4L9
604-872-6757
www.mpfamilycentre.ca
SEPTEMBER NEWSLETTER
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.

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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 


September
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!
https://frp-evaluation.ca/psurvey.php?surveycode=P16-954-F
 
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
 
OCTOBER
 
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
 
November
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
 
Programming:
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. 
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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! 

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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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