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Opening Doors for Children & Families

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Recently, Alberta lost a very impactful leader. Peter Lougheed led the Progressive Conservative Party to victory in 1971, ending the 36 year reign of the Social Credit Party. Lougheed became one of the most influential leaders in Alberta's history with legacies such as The Heritage Trust Fund and the development of oil and gas in this province. I had the great fortune of sitting with one of Edmonton's greatest volunteers at a luncheon yesterday. He spoke about work he had done with Mr. Lougheed. He described him as a compassionate but tough leader who everyone admired. He said with a smile...

It was a beautiful, warm, sunshiny day in June. I was out on the playground with one of the ABC Head Start classes. The teachers and I were chatting about our upcoming fundraiser gala, called Magic and Masquerade taking place on October 12, 2012. One ABC Head Start employee has been volunteering for the Scarecrow Festival Steering Committee. The Scarecrow Festival is heading into its 20th and final year. This steering committee puts in countless volunteer hours to make the festival and the gala a success.

We started chatting about donations for the silent auction and raffle at the Magic and...

ABC Head Start staff are all prepared for another year of Early Learning. The children and families first day is tomorrow. It is always an exciting time to meet the new families we will have the pleasure of working with for the school year and meet the children as they have their first educational experience.

Earlier in the week I called my Mom to see what my first day of preschool was like. Not surprisingly it didn't exactly go smoothly. First of all my parents describe me as a "difficult" or "strong-willed" child (but they are very careful never to call me their problem child although I know...

If you have ever been in a ABC Head Start classroom you will know the day usually ends by singing a "goodbye song." What I love about these songs is they are different in each classroom. It's kind of like a teacher's trademark. This week is our final week at ABC Head Start and there has certainly been many goodbyes. We are saying goodbye to staff who are moving on to other opportunities, having babies, moving away and a few who are retiring. So with a mixture of sadness and joy we wish these colleagues luck in their new endeavours.

The goodbye we say every single year, which never seems to get...

Here at ABC Head Start it is our last full week of classes for the children, next week is the last week for staff. As we wind down and say our goodbye's the question we find ourselves asking each other is, "Are you doing anything exciting for the summer?" Ahhh summer vacation! And the employees at ABC Head Start are lucky enough to have July and August OFF! And of course all you parents know this means your children will be home ALL SUMMER LONG too.

As a child I remember how exciting it was to burst through the doors on the last day of school and let the summer begin! We were not a family who...

Throughout my life my dad was critical in providing life lessons and words of wisdom. I think this was something he inherited from his father, who also imparted words of wisdom on a regular basis. Most of my dad's advice was around driving, maintenance of vehicles and money - all of which I still need reminding. The wonderful qualities I inherited from my father were not from his words of advice, most were from him just being the man that he is. My dad taught me about hard work and integrity, two qualities that have got me a long way in life and everyday I am grateful for this.

But one phrase...

Here's an interesting factoid about me; I am terrible at math. The interesting thing about this is at one point in my life math was my strongest subject. Then in grade 9 I took this downward math spiral and never quite recovered. I blame it on that fact that I was good at math, that I become really bad at math. Let me explain...in 8th grade my math teacher recognized my "math talent" and so in 9th grade "they" (whoever they is) decided there would be an advanced math group. This may be hard for people who know me now to believe but I WAS PUT IN THAT GROUP!

The grade 9 "Advanced Math Group...

I was in traffic yesterday following a mini-van with a bumper sticker that read "Remember who you wanted to be." Now normally I would not endorse bumper stickers but this one actually made me think. Back when I was 3 or 4 years old and people asked me the age-old question, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" My family likes to remind me that I would respond by saying, "A BIRD!" I like to remind my family that if I was 3 or 4 years old then they were the ones responsible for my delusional thinking.

At ABC Head Start staff are preparing for the end of the school year. Some teams like to...

At ABC Head Start we have employees who have been with the agency from the very beginning (or nearly the very beginning.) This week something very special happened for two of those employees. As they were working away in the classroom there was a knock at the door. They recognized the woman right away, she was a past parent of ABC Head Start. Beside her was a young man dressed in a tuxedo. They introduced themselves and instantly the two teachers remembered them.

The young man was a past ABC Head Start child. He was graduating from high school, and this was his graduation day. He and his...

Recently I received this email from a colleague regarding an upcoming presentation we are making to staff: Colleague - "...I need to review and think through my presentation notes – and you and I will need to decide who is doing what. How do you want to figure that out?" Me - "I thought I would mostly be your hype girl…like stand beside you and cheer you on…but I could probably do more than that."

Now if you are unfamiliar with the term hype girl click here for a quick tutorial. My sister lovingly refers to me as her hype girl. I like the term because I enjoy being people's cheerleaders. Again...

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With the support of volunteers, ABC Head Start Society is able to support vulnerable children and families throughout the year. Volunteers contribute by sharing their ideas, talents and energy to events, on our Board of Directors and fundraisers, and in providing direct support to children, parents/caregivers and families.

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