Thursday, January 20, 2011

Benefits of Being Part of a Community

I feel very fortunate that StrongStart is a program within elementary schools. And I don't mean be landlords and rent the space but call the program their own.

That the Ministry of Education believed that one way to help families become comfortable and prepared for the entry to school is to offer a free program for families of under 5years old right in the school. Enlarge their community to the early years.

A few of the benefits were obvious in the last couple of days.

Last night was our monthly potluck. An opportunity for the whole family to attend StrongStart, play, read stories and share a meal together. This month we went with the theme "Hawaiian Night".
Our school music teacher and I were talking about learning to play the ukulele, which we are both doing. The teacher mentioned that the school had a set of ukuleles and we were welcome to borrow them (something an early years program can't usually afford).
What fun was had playing music.
And then again this morning - discovering what they are,
learning to hold it,
and discovering it's parts.
Strumming and learning with our grownups.

Also being part of the school means using the whole school.
We buddy up with a grade 3 class to read, play games and share stories.
We use the library and the gym.

Right now for about 3 weeks our school has a turn with the gymnastic equipment. Every day during our gym time we climb, balance, roll, go under, go over, jump, land and run.

We learn to take turns and help each other.

Our school community was also there when one of little ones hurt her arm. The school first aid attendant was right there to check her over. And even later one of the kindergarten parents who is also an Emergency Room nurse reassured the mom that the arm was fine.

These are just a few benefits.