Newsletter

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! 

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

June Newsletter

May 31, 2019
JUNE NEWSLETTER
Executive Director’s Summer Report
 
June, July and August at the Family Drop in and the Early Years Refugee Program are generally quieter months for our programs.  However, we also host several fun outdoor celebrations that we invite all families to participate, including a Canada Day celebration, Aboriginal Day outing, and a summer picnic in Robson Park.  During the month of June we will welcome Anna, this year’s summer student who comes highly recommended by Reneet our summer student from last year.  Anna will be with us for 8 weeks, spending 3 days week at the Early Years Refugee Program and 2 days at the Family Drop-In.  Please join me in welcoming her to our MP Family Centre Society staff family.
In other news we are pleased to report that the new MCFD funded, Creekside Baby Drop-In program, co facilitated by Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House and Mount Pleasant Family Centre Society staff is busy and running smoothly. Looking forward, I would like to invite all those interested in joining our Board of Directors to contact me directly at 
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to discuss this enriching volunteer opportunity and to invite serious applicants to join us for the Board-staff social on July 16th – DTBA.  I will look forward to your email!
 
With Kind Regards, 
Gini Bonner, ED MPFCS 

May is Membership Month
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
VANCOUVER CANADIANS BASEBALL CLUB TICKETS:If you have purchased a membership in April or May, your name will be entered to win 4 admission tickets to a VANCOUVER CANADIANS BASEBALL GAME. Draw will happen on June 7, 2019.
 
 
National Volunteer Week April 7-13


Being the National Volunteer Week we wish to recognize with a sense of acknowledgement and admiration for the countless hours our volunteers dedicate in support of Mount Pleasant Family Centre Society and our sacred goals. It is with great respect we wish to thank you for all your invaluable service in this especial week and joyfully declare how delighted we are to see you again and again.

 

Thank you and with all sincerity and heartfelt gratitude
Mount Pleasant Family Centre Society

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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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