The Circle of Care and Connection families attending our afternoon Welcome to Canada drop-in program had a big surprise on October 31st. They went trick-or-treating around the ISSofBC Welcome Centre together with the children from the LINC (Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada) preschool. The children had fun putting on the costumes and collecting candies. Some of them were tired after visits to numerous offices and classes but were proud of their bags full of various treats.
Farnaz has worked as an early childhood educator for more than 20 years. She is originally from Iran and moved to Canada in 2010 with her husband and two children. She has a Master's Degree in Educational Science with the specialization in Early Childhood Education. Farnaz believes that a quality early childhood program must provide a rich and nurturing environment, where children and their families from different cultural backgrounds feel safe, welcomed and respected. In her spare time, she likes to read, walk, swim and listen to music. Farnaz will be working mostly in the new CCC playroom at ISSofBC Welcome Centre on Victoria Drive.
October at the Family Centre
National Family Week is October 3-7 and
Vancouver Family Place Day is October 9!
October 1, Saturday: 2-5 pm 40th Anniversary Family Dance Join us and celebrate our 40 year anniversary with a Family Dance. Information on our website and to purchase tickets on eventbrite, click here - BUY FAMILY DANCE TICKETS
October 7 & 14, Friday's: 9:30 - 11:30 AM Nobody's Perfect This parent support education group allows parents to get a better understanding of their children's development, meet other parents and share ideas. Ask Flora for more info and to sign up for the next session.
October 10, Monday:Thanksgiving Day The Family Centre will be CLOSED.
October 11 - November 25, Tuesday's 1-3 PM and Friday's 9:30 -11:30 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 Ewa or Maria. A family centre membership is required in order to participate.
October 18, Tuesday: 5:30 - 8 pm Annual General Meeting All current members are welcome to join us for a potluck dinner provided by the existing Board Members) upstairs in the playroom. After dinner, the adults will go downstairs for the meeting and the children will stay upstairs to play with the childcare providers. Please register your attendance by calling the Family Centre 604-872-6757 and include your name, your child(ren)'s names and ages and your member number.
October 21 - December 9, Friday's: 9:30 - 11:30 AM Circle of Security is an early intervention program designed to enhance attachment security between parents and children. For more information or to sign up, please contact Ewa. A family centre membership is required in order to participate.
October 27, Thursday: 9:30 - 11:30 AM Speech Therapist Visit during AM Drop-In. She will give a short talk on normal language development and be able to answer questions.
October 31, Monday:Pumpkin Patch in the yard during morning and afternoon Drop-In. Come in costume and join in the fun! Please bring a loonie to cover the cost of pumpkins!
Literacy through Music Program
October 5, 12, 19 and 26, Wednesday's: 2:15 pm - 2:45 pm during afternoon Drop-In.
Participants do not need to register. Come sing, dance and play with Music Therapist, Melody Owen. Family participation is required.
We will be saying goodbye to Nina as of October 1, 2016. She was with us for a year and a half and supported and led several projects such as the Baby Drop-In Program, a
successful gardening workshop and our Canada Day Celebration. She cultivated many positive relationships with our Drop-In families. The staff at Mount Pleasant Family Centre Society would like to wish her well and best of luck on her future endeavours! She will be truly missed by all. Alma Tuliao will be returning to her position starting Monday, October 3, 2016.
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. A Family Membership at the MPFCS is $45.00 per year or 86 cents per week.
If you did not have a membership last year, please go directly to our membership page. To renew your membership please go to CanadaHelps.org. When you visit the Family Centre, you can pay using cash, credit card, or cheque. Please speak to one of our Family Support Workers and they will help you.
Family Day Care Providers and Nannies are asked to request parents of the children in their care to purchase a MPFCS membership.
September at the Family Centre
September 1, Thursday: 1 - 3 PM Baby Drop-In Continues This drop-in is focused on babies under one year. Explore their needs and developmental stages and learn ways to support your baby through attachment and healthy growth. This drop-in requires no registration and will continue on Thursday afternoons.
September 5, Monday:Labour Day The Family Centre will be CLOSED.
September 6, Tuesday:Storytime with the VPL Librarian during morning Drop-In. Come meet our librarian and enjoy songs, rhymes, and stories.
September 7, Wednesday:Fire Drill During morning Drop-In, we will have a fire drill at 10:15 am. This 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 (not our building's alarm bell) to alert the beginning of the drill.
September 8, Thursday:Grandparents' Day during the Drop-In. There will be special activities to honour grandparents. Grandparents' Day is September 11.
September 9 - October 14, Fridays: 9:30 - 11:30 AM Nobody's Perfect This parent support education group allows parents to get a better understanding of their children's development, meet other parents and share ideas. Participants must be current members of the Family Centre. Please ask Flora for more info and to sign up.
September 12 - 15, Monday - Thursday:Moon Festival Crafts during Drop-In. All week there will be special crafts in preparation for the Moon Festival (Thursday, September 15).
September 22, Thursday:Storytime with the VPL Librarian during Baby Drop-In. Come sing,rhyme and enjoy stories with the librarian.
September 24 - November 19, Saturdays: 10 - 11:30 AM 1-2-3 Jump! Physical Literacy for 2.5 - 3.5 yr olds. Have fun with your child moving and learning in new ways. Registration is required.The program is offered free in partnership with Little Mountain Neighbourhood House. We ask that you have a current Family Centre membership to participate. Please ask Flora for more info and to sign up.
September 26, Monday: 9:30-11:30 AM Dental Visit Screening during Drop-In for ages 1-3 years old who don't have regular dental check ups.
September 29, Thursday: 1 - 3 PM Dental Visit Workshop Info for babies during Baby Drop-In.
Literacy through Music Program
We are pleased to announce a new program this fall called Literacy Through Music Program. Melody Owen will be the facilitator and will offer the singing and music program for 10 sessions starting Monday, September 26 from 2:15 pm - 2:45 pm. The program will be part of our regular Drop In Program and the Circles of Caring Connections Program. Participants do not need to register.
Join us at our 40th Anniversary Family Dance!
Cost - $10 per adult and $5 per child, infants under 1 year old are free
Location - Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral
145 E 10th Ave, Vancouver BC, V5T 1Z4
This is a perfect event for children ages 0-6. You can also help our refugee families attend this dance by sponsoring them. Your donation of $5 sponsors a child and $10 sponsors an adult. Or you can donate $30 to sponsor an entire family.
Mount Pleasant Family Centre Society is located at 2910 St. George Street in Vancouver (adjacent to Robson Park). We are seeking new Board Members and would welcome all enquiries. Please contact Gini Bonner, our Executive Director at 604-872-6757 to learn more about this rewarding opportunity.
Why Volunteer? Volunteering is a great way to gain hands-on experience in a variety of leadership roles while bettering your community. It provides an opportunity to work and interact with people from different walks of life, while providing valuable lessons in teamwork, leadership, and commitment to something above and beyond our daily existence.
I look forward to hearing from you! Gini
August picnic at Robson Park
Our annual picnic at Robson Park was a great success. On August 17th, MPFCS welcomed families from our Drop-In and Circles of Care and Connection Early Years Refugee Program. It was well attended as 53 MPFC family members with 92 children from our Family Drop-In Program and 19 families with 40 children, enrolled in the CCC Early Years Refugee Program attended the festivities. Everyone enjoyed playing the outdoors games, art making, face painting, the pinata and meeting other families. The highlight of the day was singing Happy Birthday to our long standing volunteer Janice. And the chocolate birthday cake was the favourite of everyone!
Our newly arrived Syrian families also expressed the following statements: "This was one of our best days since we arrived to Canada". "I was so happy to meet other families like mine. We ate lunch together and our children played together. Thank you for this". "My favourite part was meeting my new friends"! Thank you to the kind support of the following local stores: Buy Low Foods, Nesters Market, Safeway, Save On Foods and Superstore. As a result of their contributions, we were able to provide lunch for the refugee families.
Are you handy or know someone who is?
Looking ahead to October and November...
October 11 - November 25, Tuesday's 1-3 PM and Friday's 9:30-11:30 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 Ewa or Maria.
October 21 - December 9, 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. Eva will co-facilitate the course which runs Friday mornings. Participants must be current members of the Family Centre. Please speak with Ewa for more information.
Thirty five of our refugee families (39 adults and 40 children) had a fun and "fruitful" afternoon at the Main Street Station Farmers' Market in July. Each family received special nutrition coupons to buy locally grown food such as fresh fruits, vegetables, eggs, fish, and meat. It was wonderful to see lots of happy faces and to hear comments such as:
"Thank you for helping us afford healthy food for our children to eat."
"I found eggplants that looked like the ones I get from my home country. I can't wait to cook maqluba [traditional Syrian dish] again for my family. It is my daughter's favourite."
"This market reminds me of home. We did not know that markets like this exist in Vancouver". These feelings of familiarity and nice memories are precious for everyone, especially for refugee families.
The Farmers Market Nutrition Coupon Program is an initiative of the BC Association of Farmers Markets, sponsored by the BC Government's Ministry of Health. Thanks to the generous funding received from Whole Foods Market, the Vancouver Fresh to Families project started in 2015. This partnership between Vancouver Farmers Markets, Mount Pleasant Family Centre's Circles of Care and Connection program, MOSAIC, VCH Healthiest Babies Possible Program, and Public Health Dietitians has the goal to secure funding to expand the current number of families receiving the nutrition coupons in Vancouver. While supporting local farming (every dollar spent goes back to farmers), the Coupon Program enables lower-income BC families to purchase locally grown, fresh food.