Early Learning Conference presenters entertain

A host of activities, workshops and information sessions make for a great two-day event

Allan Hirsch brought his character Alleyoop to the conference.

Allan Hirsch brought his character Alleyoop to the conference.

The staff of the Quesnel Child Care Resource and Referral, along with community partners, hosted three related events Oct. 14 – 15.

Northstar Church, the Children’s Concert Society, Katimavik, and the Children First committee all partnered with the CCRR to make these events happen.

The first event was for children who are regularly in daycare, or who attend Strong Start programs and CCRR play groups.

Kiki the Eco Elf (Tanya Libscomb) entertained the children and their parents/caregivers for an hour at Northstar Church on Friday morning.   Most of the 176 children in attendance (along with their caregivers or parents) were bused to and from the venue.

The other two events were on Saturday.  First was the CCRR’s fourth annual Cariboo Early Learning Conference, held at Northstar Church and attended by approximately 40 participants.  This year’s theme was Playing to Learn.  Two local presenters, Sandy Meidlinger (CDC) and Megan Klotz (MCFD), presented a workshop on the power of play.  The other two presenters were children’s entertainers, one from Vernon and one from Seattle.

Tanya Lipscomb, an award-winning, touring singer/songwriter, has developed a character named Kiki the Eco Elf.

She strives to entertain and educate children about the environment and ecological sustainability with colour, excitement and enthusiasm.  Using storytelling and songs in both French and English, Ms. Lipscomb explores numerous environmental concerns.  She is a mother of three from Vernon.

Allan Hirsch, aka Alleyoop!, has 35 years experience working with children and more than 15 years presenting workshops and keynotes for early childhood educators. He has won two Parent’s Choice awards for children’s audio recordings.  His workshop on circle time activities was informative, interactive and fun.  According to the caregivers present at this workshop, he has much more to offer and could easily be brought to Quesnel again.

Another feature of the conference was the Marketplace – a group of local vendors who came to support the conference.  Each of them donated a door prize in lieu of renting a table, and these were greatly appreciated.


This was a wonderful opportunity to do some

early Christmas shopping and the public was

able to come into the Marketplace during the conference.


The final event was a public performance by Alleyoop!, held in partnership with the Children’s Concert Society and Northstar Church.  This interactive performance had an audience of 104 children and adults.  They were entertained with singing, dancing and puppetry.

The staff at Northstar Church, most namely Pastor Norm, were absolutely wonderful, assisting the CCRR staff during the events and providing the venue.  A special thank you also goes out to Sandy Meidlinger, who spent Saturday at the venue alongside the CCRR staff, and the Katimavik volunteers, who helped with moving chairs, serving lunch and cleaning up at the end of the conference and the Kiki show.

“The CCRR has a staff of three very hard working and dedicated individuals.  While I am usually there to support them during these activities,” says executive director Pat Colbourne said, “I had to be away this year.  They really rose to the occasion.


“I can’t say enough about the dedication and competency of the CCRR staff and the great benefits of community partnerships.”