Give your child a strong start

Quesnel StrongStart program is a great resource for early childhood learning

Child learn to explore their world in the StrongStart program.

Almost nine years ago, the B.C. Government took its first steps into the world of pre-school programs with the pilot project StrongStart of which one was placed in Riverview elementary school under the guidance of early childhood educator Patty Apps.

“I recognized this was a new innovative approach to early learning and was happy to be in on the ground floor,” she said.

“We still follow the original mandate, however the program has grown both in the number of children participating and our resources. I believe it will continue to grow.”

Around the province 12 StrongStart programs were established to see how B.C. parents and caregivers would respond to such a program. Play-based early learning activities – including stories, music and art – at not cost to families, enabled this drop-in program to help prepare children for success in kindergarten.

Currently, there are more than 400 StrongStart programs running in British Columbia, five of which are located in Quesnel.

Since 2007, the first year StrongStart ran at Riverview elementary school, Apps says approximately 400 children have been through the program.

Red Bluff StrongStart began in 2008 and Bouchie Lake, Barlow Creek and Ecole Baker elementary schools’ StrongStart programs were established in 2010 all with equally impressive attendance.

With changes to the Quesnel School District, changes are also coming to the StrongStart program.

The biggest change is Riverview elementary school will no longer house one of the programs. Apps and all her resource materials are moving to the annex by Quesnel Junior School where she will have more space for her program. The StrongStart program room at Riverview will revert back to a regular classroom.

This change will take effect for the beginning of the 2016/2017 school year this September.

In addition to strong support from parents and caregivers, many educators also see the tremendous value in the StrongStart program.

Retired SD#28 principal Mike Adams had the opportunity to provide grandpa daycare to his then 18-month-old grandson. Although Adams knew about the program from his work with SD#28, he wasn’t sure if the program was offered on the island where he was looking after his grandson.

Fortunately, it was and Adams saw first-hand how his grandson flourished in the StrongStart program.

“My grandson called it ‘cool school,’” Adams said.

“You see children exploring and learning about their world. They have such an appetite for learning and StrongStart helps them with structure and routine while exploring the wonders of their world.”

He added kids who’ve done the StrongStart program have that initial success and maintain their success throughout their career.

“It’s also an opportunity for child and parent to bond in a positive learning experience and this also helps teach parents every experience can be a learning and positive experience.”

StrongStart accepts children from birth to five-years old and there’s no cost to families. The program is designed to include child and parent/caregiver so no drop offs are accepted. Each adult participant receives a brief parent handbook which outlines expectations and expected outcomes of the program. Each StrongStart program is delivered by a fully-trained early childhood educator and Patty Apps is the program coordinator for Quesnel.

Every effort is made to provide each child with a pleasant, enriched and safe experience.

Each child is different and each child’s needs are different and every effort is made to accommodate those needs in the StrongStart program.

For more details contact Quesnel School District or drop by the Annex by QJS in September once the program is up and running.

Just Posted

‘Williams Lake saved my life’ says cyclist who revisits town where he hit rock bottom

Tyler Waddell travels 2,600 from B.C. to Yukon to awareness about mental health issues

Washout hits Highway 97 north of Cache Creek

Drivers turning back as road is impassable

Billy Barker Days costume shop now open in West Quesnel

You’ll find all the dresses, hats and boas you need at the West Park Mall

Finding their 4-H wings in Quesnel

Members of Cariboo Wolf Pack 4-H Club spot rare Virginia Rail near Dragon Lake

UNBC student will run for Cariboo-Prince George Green Party in federal election

Mackenzie Kerr says she is ‘deeply committed’ to climate action

VIDEO: Reports say Lashana Lynch is the new 007

Daniel Craig will reprise his role as Bond one last time

High-speed rail link would run from Vancouver to Seattle in under 1 hour: study

Annual ridership is projected to exceed three million

ICBC insurance renewals get more complicated this year

Crash history, driver risk prompt more reporting requirements

B.C. man dies from rabies after contact with Vancouver Island bat

Last known case of human rabies in B.C. was 16 years ago

U.S. tug firm to be sentenced for 2016 spill in B.C. First Nation’s territory

The Nathan E. Stewart spilled 110,000 litres of diesel and heavy oils in October 2016

Asylum figures show overall slower rate of irregular crossings into Canada

Between January and June 2019, a total of 6,707 asylum seekers crossed irregularly into Canada

Youth seen with gun at Nanaimo mall, suspect now in custody

Woodgrove Centre shut down during police incident

Crown recommends up to two-year jail term for former Bountiful leader

Crown says sentence range should be 18 months to two years for Bountiful child removal case

B.C.-wide police efforts identify Vancouver Island robbery suspect

Warrant issued for arrest of North Vancouver man for TD Bank robbery

Most Read