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Opening Doors for Children & Families

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Since I am a reality show junkie, I tuned into a new show. It is a spin off of one of my favourites, called Junior MasterChef. I tuned in quite hesitantly because the thought of children competing on a reality show made my ethics kick up in the pit of my stomach. However it turned out to be quite endearing & entertaining. The children had cooking skills that far surpassed my own, with one child chopping at the speed of light with only his eyes and nose peering over the counter due to his height. They plated meals that looked like they came straight out of the Hardware Grill kitchen, and...

I graduated from my degree at Mount Royal University in 2004. The job market was pretty great. I can’t say I was particularly concerned about getting a job; in fact I had job offers before I had officially graduated. Not to say it wasn’t intimidating, with years spent in an academic bubble I had no idea how to navigate the corporate world. I remember being told, “With your degree you will just step right into management roles.” Not the case. Let’s face it, that doesn’t happen to very many people although for some reason I think new graduates are led to believe that.

This week I had the...

Play. It is described as so many things; an activity for enjoyment, the work of a child, a voluntary and intrinsically motivated action. Once you start to study play you will learn there are many different types of play; parallel play, solitary play, cooperative play. It is a hot topic in the field of early learning and at ABC Head Start. You can often watch ABC Head Start staff observing the classroom and saying things like "Wow, look at them engage so beautifully in cooperative play!" Ok well maybe you hear that more in June, then in September but either way, we are obsessed with play. And...

This week, a fellow non-profit agency experienced a great deal of hardship when fire destroyed one of their service centers. On Monday, a fire broke out at the Bissell Centre's sorting area of the Thrift Shoppe. The Thrift Shoppe is a social enterprise of Bissell Centre providing low income families and individuals a venue for purchasing high-quality products at very affordable prices. It is a critical service in our city.

In July, I decided to do something I had never done before...have a garage sale. This was no small feat as my basement was full of boxes from my recent move. My mother even...

I heard something on the radio this morning I could totally relate to. The morning show host was talking about how teachers returning to work after having two months off are like survivors of a northern BC plane crash. That for two months they have just been wandering around eating moss and berries, and they were rescued and expected to just go right back to work. After being off for that period of time it's true, you are are a little rusty.

I would argue ABC Head Start staff have one of the most demanding, challenging jobs in the world. Once those children and families walk through the door...

Come to the ABC Head Start administration office today and what do you see? Well you see a flurry of activity and a revolving door of staff members dropping off forms, files, and paper work. For our front line staff it is their last day of work, so you will also see a lot of hugs, lots of laughs and wishing well for the summer break. But what cannot go unnoticed this year is the fact that there are boxes...everywhere. Everywhere you look there is a stack of boxes here or there, in every corner of every room. The boxes are due to the fact that ABC Head Start's administration office is moving...

School shopping! That's what we always called it in my house. You know the shopping you do in August right before school starts to buy school supplies, a new backpack, new running shoes and new clothes for your first day of school. This was generally our great summer vacation. We would make the nearly 600 km trek from the picturesque scene of northern Alberta, holiday trailer in tow, to the great capital city of Edmonton. School supply list in hand, we were excited to get stocked up for another school year. And stock up we did because you didn't want to risk missing an item and have to settle...

As you faithful ABC Head Start blog fans would know, I usually publish this blog on Friday's. However this week I am fortunate to be able to attend the Vitalize Conference. The opening ceremonies are tonight and I will be in workshops all day tomorrow and taking in all the festivities in the evening. Follow ABC Head Start on Facebook and Twitter and I will share it with each and every one of you! Trust me, you'll feel like you are there.

Even though this week is jam packed with excitement I couldn't let this week go by without a blog post. Why you might ask? Because this weekend is Father's...

I have pretty bad vision. I have worn glasses or contacts since I was in grade 3 and remember vividly getting them. I accepted it even at a young age and this was my nonsensical logic; I look exactly like my mom - my mom has bad vision - I assumed it was my fate. Recently one of my nephews was told he needs glasses. He just turned 5 and during his vision test they discovered he is far sighted. He wasn't too happy about the fact he had to get glasses (as you can tell by the picture) because, "None of his friends have glasses!" But now that he has them he thinks they are alright, although he...

I had an interesting conversation with one of our ABC Head Start teachers, Margot Mighton, this week. She has been working on a project exploring communication delays in our Head Start children. As some of you may or may not know, many of the children at ABC Head Start come to us with a communication delay. But what was interesting in talking with Margot is she believes she is seeing a shift in the type of communication profile we are frequently seeing in children currently, and I would have to agree with her analysis.

Let me explain, and let me start by saying I am certainly NOT a qualified...

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