The Grand tour des petites écoles is back again this year, but with some new features.
You’re probably familiar with how it works: a team of young students from La Ruche High School trains two mornings a week from December to May.
Some students who participate have school related problems, such as a lack of motivation, low self-esteem, behaviour problems, ADHD, as well as substance abuse and addictions. Throughout the preparation process, the students get training support, as well as support with nutrition, road safety, self-confidence and perseverance.
Various activities are planned to allow these youth to become ambassadors and to share what they’ve experienced and learned not only with students from “small schools” (the elementary schools in the MRC), but also with those from La Ruche. What’s new this year is the opportunity for schools to request a fleet of bikes. In fact, a new aspect of the project is the creation of a bike repair shop.
Experts give workshops on the mechanics of bikes in order to give a second life to some “beat up” bikes.
The used bikes were donated by the City - through its Ecocentre - and by private individuals and then refurbished by the students.
The result is a fleet of some 50 bikes that will be available to schools for the Grand tour des petites écoles, but also for plenary and road safety activities.
And who knows...the project might undergo more changes in the future!
As part of our action plan for 0-5 year olds, the Socio-economic Committee has been working for more than a year on actions aimed at improving the living conditions of at-risk families with young children. By offering our support, we hope parents can improve their ability to meet the basic needs of their children.
Committee stakeholders have developed a remobilization project for parents of young children who’ve been out of touch with the labour market or with training opportunities. The goal is to help them make greater strides with respect to training, orientation and employability, thereby improving their living conditions.
With this project, we want to offer parents an opportunity to get back into action by allowing them to break out of their isolation, enjoy a pleasant group experience, and receive support that’s both flexible and adapted to their needs. The partners feel it’s important to listen to the parents, which is why they chose a formula that’s flexible and progressive.
In practical tems, the “program” will take place over the course of 10 months, with three half days a week. An intervenor will always be part of the group in order to provide parents with ongoing and personalized support. A second resource person will coordinate the project and also regularly interact with the parents. The program is made up of four tracks (professional, educational, personal, and family), and includes discussions with the parents on various topics. The parents will choose the topics that interest them, and the appropriate professionals will be invited to take part if they so wish.
At the same time, it’s also important to eliminate any impediment to their participation in the program. Therefore, several options will be made available to parents, such as spaces in drop-in daycares, a $9 subsidy per half-day, reimbursement of travel expenses, and food service (snacks and breakfast) during the program..
If all goes well, the project, which is awaiting validation, will start in the fall of 2016!
Ah, summer...a time to relax, to spend time with family, and to get out and enjoy the nice weather. And for those of us who are neighbourhood or outreach workers, it’s also a period of greater accessibility. Our meeting places include streets and parks. People come out in droves when the days are longer and there’s no school the next day.
For us at Équipe Ressources Relais (ÉRR), a resource organization, the summer period allows us to see how our work has developed and progressed over the past year. People are increasingly open to our presence, and we’ve earned credibility while building a relationship of trust. Some people have even transferred this sense of trust to others around them. And word of mouth is a sure sign that we’re doing our job right! People have even expressed their gratitude. All the time spent listening before intervening, showing respect for each individual’s pace, prioritizing the relationship and adapting ourselves to the individual, to the context, and to the constraints has paid off in a very concrete way. In all, over the past year, we’ve met with some sixty families with children in the whole of the Memphremagog MRC. Numbers like these are why organizations who support Équipe Relais Estrie can announce the arrival of new stakeholders who are willing to invest in our work because they believe what we’re doing is important.
The Équipe Relais Estrie family is expanding. Julie will become part of our team and join Marie-Claude, Jessica, Audrey, Simon and Jérémie. This will allow the partners group to take the first steps toward ensuring the sustainability of our actions, while recognizing the importance of this co-management model.
The event will be held December 10, 2015, from 9 am. to 4 pm.
You made a choice... to continue working together and to remain mobilised and committed to improving the wellbeing and quality of life of children ages 0-17 in the Memphremagog MRC! During the last General Assembly, we reviewed the benefits and knowledge that resulted from Healthy Lifestyles initiatives begun in 2009. As one of the partners said, «We’ve kept busy!» Soon, we’ll have reached out to 8,000 children ages 0 to17, living in our territory, in at least one of their living environments: school. daycare, family, municipality, community organization...and we’ll have touched on at least one of these themes: healthy eating, cooking, gardening, physical activity, and active transport...
No wonder you want to continue!
The reflection exercise on the sustainability of the mission, hosted by Esther Matte, allowed us to highlight what’s important to you and what you feel will ensure the continued success of our mission:
- leadership or coordination
- cooperative work toward a common goal, with clear targets, and an assessment of the
impact our actions have on our targets
- networking, discussions, consultations
- efforts to help the most vulnerable families
- current partnerships, and the creation of new ones, including with the private sector There’s a lot of work to do, but your willingness to continue collaborating will be your driving force for a long time to come. The next steps will help us determine our focus for next year regarding 0-5 year olds and Healthy Lifestyle Habits, but also how we’re going to proceed in 2016-2017 and the following years!
There’s often been a discussion around the need for kids to be active, especially outdoors, no matter what the weather. In previous newsletters, we discussed the benefits of physical activity - whether within a framework or not - of free play and of learning experiences beginning in early childhood. While there’s no shortage of tools available, what with curricular and extracurricular activities, not to mention active homework sheets and Wixx Zones, the fact remains that there are still obstacles to regular physical activity. Environments that promote physically active lifestyles are without a doubt the most effective at getting youth to become active on a regular basis.
That’s why we’re seeing the emergence of Healthy Lifestyles charters in municipalities, including in our own - that’s right, the Memphremagog Municipal Regional County has signed a Healthy Lifestyles Charter. And even though our elected officials are fully aware of this issue, parents have to play their part.
So, how do we reach parents?
In our capacity as organizations, it’s become important to ensure that our means of communication focus on this. We have to do a better job of promoting our Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter pages, and of including more relevant content.
It’s not hard to find internet sites that are full of tips and tricks; some YouTube channels even offer a bunch of ideas for outdoor activities. However, there comes a time when we have to preach by example...So, I invite you to talk about your outdoor activities with others around you. I’m sure someone in your teams has a well guarded secret about the best spot for a leisurely trail walk, or knows of a good place to go snowshoeing on a Sunday afternoon, or is willing to share the name of a favourite ski resort.
I’m appealing to you to encourage discussions around the pleasures of outdoor activities by sharing your discoveries with others...
And by posting them on our Pinterest page!
See you outdoors!!
Par ces billets, l'équipe de MeM vous tient informée de l'actualité du regroupement et de l'actualité en générale concernant les Saines Habitudes de Vie.