February 2019

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The Tri-Cities Early Childhood Development and Middle Childhood Matters Committees continue to collaborate to help move this Children's Charter of Rights forward in our community. Each month we will spotlight community partners making a difference in children's lives by adopting the Tri-Cities Children's Charter of Rights in their regular work. You can also find resources that will help you adopt the Charter of Rights in your personal and work life.

With full gratitude, we acknowledge the Tri-Cities is core territory of the Kwikwetlem First Nations people and lies within the shared Traditional Territories of the Tsleil-Waututh, Katzie, Musqueam, Squamish and Sto’:lo Nations. We honour the Ancestors and all relations who walked this land long before us.

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SPOTLIGHTING RIGHTS CHAMPIONS

The Right to Have Friends

  • Port Moody Library - Programs designed to bring people and families together

  • SHARE - Helping children/youth with or at risk for developmental disabilities and providing early learning opportunities

  • Kinsight - Cultivating connections in our communities where everyone is welcome and everyone belongs

  • Community Snapshot - Moving forward with kids in mind


When I see you through my eyes, I think that we are different. When I see you through my heart, I know we are the same.
— Doe Zantamata
A circle is round and has no end, that’s how long I want to be your friend.
— Author Unknown

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Inspiring ideas, imagination and lifelong learning in a warm, welcoming atmosphere

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The Port Moody Public Library's mission is to connect people with ideas and information, to inspire imagination and a love of reading, and to facilitate lifelong learning and discovery. Our vision is to be a gathering space to learn, create, debate and share. We like to think of ourselves as the community's living room. A living room is cozy. It is a place where families can relax and be themselves. It is a place to spend time with old friends and get to know new friends. And it is sometimes a loud place – full of activities, games, laughter, fun and surprises!

Our spaces aim to have that same warm, welcoming atmosphere. The fireside area is full of comfy reading chairs. Families can grab a giant stuffie and snuggle together in our storytime circle. The shelf ends in the Children's Area are equipped with interactive games to encourage fine and large motor skills. Many an early lesson about sharing has been learned around our Train Table (donated by The Village Toy Shop) where children can engage in imaginative play. Our friendly staff are always on hand to answer questions or recommend a great read aloud.

Offering over 450 programs to bring people and families together

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Library programs at Port Moody are designed to bring people and families together. This has meant offering a variety of both age-focused and intergenerational events. In this age of social isolation, it can be difficult to find times or places to make connections with your community. Regular Babytimes and Storytimes encourage early literacy while at the same time also encourage children (and caregivers!) to socialize, share a love of stories, exchange parenting tips and tricks, and to make new friends.  

Harry Potter Day, the Spelling Bee, Ukulele Jams, writers groups, Picturebook Clubs, Reading Campout, Summer Reading Clubs, Star Wars Reads Day, TableTop Day, Free Comic Book Day, and Pigeon Variety Shows are just some of the programs where children are free to explore their interests and meet other passionate kids. Captain Underpants, Curious George and Clifford have all stopped by to say hello.

Programs such as Book Buddies, Homework Club, and Code Buddies bring teens and younger children together to build skills and empathy. Our regular Scavenger Hunt provides a challenge but also an opportunity for children to help other children. In our over 450 programs during the year, we strive to provide opportunities and space for community members to meet and make friends.

The Port Moody Public Library is committed to upholding and celebrating children's rights.

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SHARE Family & Community Services Society is a multi-service agency that has been serving the Tri-Cities community for over 40 years. We support over 57,000 people each year including children, families, youth, adults and seniors. SHARE exists to connect, engage, and strengthen individuals and families with a vision of a strong community that welcomes everyone to live, participate, contribute, and reach their full potential.

How does SHARE support children in the Tri-Cities and their right to have friends?

The right to have friends is something that can be easily overlooked in today’s busy, complex society. Children and families are more often stretched for time and resources and the basic necessities of life take priority. There are multiple barriers that can get in the way of children making meaningful connections to their peers and SHARE takes a multi-service approach in supporting children and families in this regard.

We provide support for children and youth with or at risk for developmental disabilities

Some children need enhanced services to support them with their development in communication, social skills and self-regulation. It can be particularly difficult to make friends when skill deficits make it challenging to participate in activities and environments with your peers. SHARE’s Early Intervention Team (Speech and Language Pathologists, Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists) work with children and families to increase the skills necessary to be able to make friends. They also offer group therapy sessions which foster connections both between children and between parents.  SHARE’s Community Living Team also facilitate social skills groups for children and youth with developmental disabilities where many of the youth make friends inside the group and work on the skills necessary to also make friends outside of the group.

We provide access to free inclusive early learning opportunities

Providing free, inclusive early learning programs for children and families is crucial to supporting the right to have friends. These programs provide opportunities for children to develop social-emotional skills, engage in cooperative and imaginative play and allow parents to make meaningful connections with other parents, who may not otherwise, if these programs were not available.

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SHARE operates three family resource programs that provide free non-childcare early learning to children and families:

  1. Clarke Street Family Resource Program operates in conjunction with the Tri-Cities Food Bank so that families with children accessing the food bank can also access free early learning opportunities.

  2. New Beginnings Family Drop-In operates in conjunction with the Tri-Cities Early Years refugee program with a focus on the unique needs of Tri-Cities refugee families.

  3. Mountain View Family Resource Program operates in the growing Burquitlam neighbourhood and participates as part of the larger network of early years programs across the Tri-Cities.

SHARE is deeply committed to the well-being of children in our community and we know that fostering happy, healthy, loved children and families takes a community and family centred approach. We also know that honouring the rights of children cannot be done without strong working relationships with community partners. Our connections with other agencies in the community are crucial in planning and delivering services that honour these rights.

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Cultivating connections in our communities

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At Kinsight, our vision -- Everyone’s Welcome, Everyone Belongs, Everywhere. – drives everything we do. We know that a key component to living well is being connected to your community in ways that are truly meaningful. Being connected means feeling welcome to join in things that interest you that you have a right to participate in. Participation does not exist in isolation; it relies on social connections and relationships. All people, regardless of their ability and all the other factors that make us unique, have a desire to belong to something larger than themselves and to have people they consider friends.

Kinsight works with individuals and with the larger community to help make that happen. With programs from infancy through to adulthood, we help families connect with each other and with their communities to build relationships that support their child to develop and thrive and to make friends.

Our Infant Development Program supports families with children ages birth through three. We facilitate playgroups in the community to provide space for families to meet one another and for their babies and toddlers to learn skills and socialize with their peers. Through consultation, we help families understand their child’s unique needs and how to navigate services and systems. We also work with the larger community to build capacity and understanding of inclusive communities.

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Our Supported Child Development Program supports families with children and youth up to age 19 to attend a child care program. Through consultation, we help families find programs that meet their unique needs and work closely with educators to ensure children of all abilities are meaningfully included in child care programs. Consultants work closely with families to assist them to understand their child’s needs, advocate for themselves with school and medical systems and to connect with other families and the community. The program team also works with the larger community to educate and facilitate a more inclusive approach to programming, attitudes and spaces. The Key Worker Services of Kinsight, also known as the Complex Developmental Behavioral Conditions (CDBC) Program, works with families whose children or youth have complex developmental behavioral needs, such as Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders.  The program provides consultation services that support the goals for the child and family with:

  • assistance in providing information during and after assessment of a child

  • access to family support and health and education services

  • information about the support and developmental needs of children and youth with complex developmental behavioral conditions

  • family-to-family support networks and advocacy.

Consultants in Our Family and Individual Support Program provide presentations, groups, individual support and advocacy for families and individuals of all ages. This program focuses on:

  • access to quality inclusive education

  • transitions to and through adulthood

  • family networking and shared learning

  • youth leadership and networking

  • community partnerships that strengthen inclusive and welcoming communities.

Through these programs, Kinsight strives to create inclusive communities where people of all abilities feel a sense of belonging and have meaningful social connections because everyone has the right to have friends.

Kinsight promotes options and opportunities for people to have meaningful relationships and fulfilling lives. We work alongside families of children, youth and adults with developmental delays or disabilities to support growth, development and personal well-being. We have been a part of the Tri-Cities community for over 60 years, starting as a grass roots advocacy effort by parents of children with disabilities who envisioned a better future for their children.

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First Peoples Principles of Learning

The First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC) has produced a poster with the following principles that can be used in our learning environments. Download the poster.

  • Learning ultimately supports the well-being of the self, the family, the community, the land, the spirits, and the ancestors.

  • Learning is holistic, reflexive, reflective, experiential, and relational (focused on  connectedness, on reciprocal relationships, and a sense of place).

  • Learning involves recognizing the consequences of one’s actions.

  • Learning involves generational roles and responsibilities.

  • Learning recognizes the role of indigenous knowledge.

  • Learning is embedded in memory, history, and story.

  • Learning involves patience and time.

  • Learning requires exploration of one’s identity.

  • Learning involves recognizing that some knowledge is sacred and only shared with permission and/or in certain situations.

Spirit of the Children Society

The Spirit of the Children Society walks in love, honor and respect to learn, share our identity, and heal together. Visit the main webpage and follow the programs and services links to learn more about program offerings and support services.

School District 43

Smiling Creek Elementary is SD43’s newest community school, working in partnership with the City of Coquitlam and other partners. The Smiling Creek Activity Centre at the school provides recreation programming during evenings and weekends. As stated on SD43’s website, “Community Schools create centres with diverse and enhanced opportunities, where students, staff, families, residents, agencies and businesses work together to support student learning, building stronger families and communities.”

Cities

We are fortunate in the Tri-Cities to have parks, nature, recreation and leisure programs with a lot of thought for children and families. Check out the services and programs that keep children a top priority:

City of Coquitlam Program Guide

City of Port Coquitlam Leisure Guide

City of Port Moody Happening Guide

City events pages:

https://www.coquitlam.ca/parks-recreation-and-culture/arts-and-culture/special-events-calendar/special-events-calendar.aspx

https://www.portcoquitlam.ca/recreation/events-attractions/bc-family-day/

http://www.portmoody.ca/index.aspx?page=33

Libraries

Visit your local library to find out more about the programs they offer that promote the well-being of children and families.

Port Moody Public Library kid’s page

Terry Fox Public Library (FVRL) kid’s resource page

Coquitlam Public Library children’s program page

Other Community Organizations

Visit Tri-Cities Early Childhood Development Committee’s website to view a calendar of events along with resources and a list of community organizations providing services and programs for you and your kids.

Live 5210 Play Box Program provides access to sports equipment for everyone via Play Boxes in Port Moody & Port Coquitlam.


Rights in Action archive:

 

How you can adopt the Rights

Find resources such as the Charter of Rights in Farsi, Chinese and Korean, PDFs to promote the Rights, and external links about child rights.

Every child is a different kind of flower and all together they make this world a beautiful garden.