By Jenna Jensen
The Sparwood Early Childhood Development (ECD) Committee is often an under recognized, but critically important foundation within the community of Sparwood. The ECD Committee works tirelessly in conjunction with the community to ensure that children are nurtured and are able to develop a solid foundation to reach their greatest potential. The ECD Committee, along with a variety of community partners, works to develop new projects and opportunities for children up to age six and help parents to encourage and assist their children in their early developmental years.
Jillian Doey, Sparwood ECD coordinator explains of several programs currently in place that see great popularity with Sparwood families.
“Books for Babies is a program that we have had a lot of success in. This program was designed to encourage early literacy and parent and child bonding, in addition to providing information that our community has available for children zero to six [years-old]. With such great success of the Books for Babies program, we are able to launch our Books for Tots program which is similar to books for babies, encouraging literacy in toddlers up to 18 months.
“Without our community partners, Sparwood Public Library, Columbia Basin Trust, and Interior Health, we would not be able to provide a book for babies and toddlers in each program, a CD and a reusable bag.”
“Another great program offered is Kindergym. This was developed to help children have a safe environment to play and climb indoors. This is a parent child program where we encourage parents and children to play and allow children to interact with one another,” explained Doey. “These are just some of the ongoing programs that we offer, and with financial support from Success by 6 and Children First and the support of the District of Sparwood, we are able to bring Sparwood a variety of opportunities including a website www.ekkids.ca, a facebook page www.facebook.com/sparwoodecd, and myself as a coordinator,” said Doey.
In addition to these programs the Sparwood ECD Committee will be hosting a parent based workshop open to all parents of Sparwood with children up to six years-old on February 21 from 8:45 am to 2:45 pm in the upstairs area of the Sparwood Recreation Department. The workshop will be free and lunch will be provided. In three sessions it will encompass food flair, early literacy and play and positive parenting. Those wishing to attend are encouraged to register in advance and are reminded that no childcare will be provided.
For more information on the upcoming workshop or programs, contact Jillian Doey, Sparwood ECD coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or 250-425-4481.
The Sparwood Early Childhood Development Committee meets every third Thursday of the month at the Sparwood Public Library at 10 am. Everyone is welcomed to attend.