With a Ready, Set, Learn! event hosted at their school Feb. 13, staff of R.M. Grauer elementary aimed to promote public education, literacy and community among families with preschoolers.
While children were entertained with activities such as art stations and a story corner, parents were invited to learn more on early learning programs and accessible community services.
Integrating the district’s agreement to enhance Aboriginal culture, the event kicked off with an opening prayer by Mary Charles of the Musqueam reservation in Vancouver.
The Musqueam elder is convinced children’s knowledge of First Nations should be enhanced.
“It is especially important for young children, because they don’t know about us,” Charles said. “But I want them to know we’re not too different from anyone else.”
Also present were community facilitators, including a public health nurse, Settlement Workers in Schools and BCAA Car Seat Safety. Each group had a display and staff to answer questions.
“They get to see there are facilities out there caring for their wellbeing and working together to support children,” said Marie Thom, who is an early learning teacher consultant.
“Strong families make up a strong community.”
Having parents with preschoolers visit the school is also a good way to promote public education, she added. “It gives families a chance to see what we’re about, and to see we’re a friendly place alleviates the anxiety.”
As far as parents were concerned, the Ready, Set, Learn! event fulfilled its primary goal of providing useful information.
Cindy Grewal, who attended the event with her three-year-old daughter Mia, said, “They distributed important information on safety, such as the height, weight and expiry of a car seat. I think a lot of people don’t know that.”
Sunny Khangura added the event might be especially helpful to new immigrant families, who often remain unfamiliar with the accessible programs. “Richmond accommodates different languages, which makes it a very supportive community.”
Attending mothers and fathers eventually joined their children for a concert featuring children’s performer Will Stroet. With his upbeat melodies and lyrics, Stroet educated his audience on topics such as hygiene and safe bike riding.
Other Ready, Set, Learn! events will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 27 and March 6. For more information, visit www.bced.gov.bc.ca.