There are many support and discussion groups in the Elk Valley for parents with children under the age of six, but Meghan Morton felt that there was a gap in terms of service for children over that age.
Morton is the Community Literacy Coordinator at the Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy (CBAL) and she created the program Muffins and More — a program that facilitates discussions with local parents about different types of literacy and learning.
“There is so much support for parents during the early years but once your kids hit school-age, you’re kind of left on your own,” said program facilitator Chrisy Hill. “So Meghan came up with this fantastic program where we can help each other out. We discuss a different topic about learning and literacy and how we can help each other help our kids,” said Hill.
The group meets at Max Turyk Elementary School every Tuesday morning, with a room next to their meeting place for their younger children to play.
“We get maybe six or eight parents a week, but it can vary depending on who can get away,” explained Hill of group attendance.
Last week, Muffin attendees discussed Family Literacy Day and how to engage parents in the parallel learning process with their kids.
“Chrisy is the guide of a conversation but the conversation can go whatever direction we need. It’s not a rigid group, it starts with a topic and it can foster really great discussion,” said parent Isabel Craig.
“You’re not coming to sit through a seminar,” seconded Chelsea Breeze-Kent.
Previous topics for the group have touched on financial literacy and discussing money with children, artistic literacy and how children can express their emotions through art, even discussions regarding child goals and how they can achieve them.