Room to Bloom

Submitted by: Heidy Kux-Kardos
Coordinator
South Peace Success By 6 & Children First
Dawson Creek
heidykk@telus.net

Our "Room to Bloom" parent-child interaction program evolved directly from our coalition planning, using SD59 EDI results and testimonials from new immigrant families on how to best help their children integrate into Canadian society. By creating this multicultural preschool program we attempted to reduce barriers for marginalized families. The program integrates quality services delivered by three organizations: Dawson Creek Literacy Outreach, School District 59 StrongStart program and the Dawson Creek Literacy Society who, through their ESL programs, has access to new immigrant families. Room to Bloom is delivered through a collaborative approach and funded by SuccessBy6.

The first session was on the Chinese Full Moon Festival with immigrants sharing their knowledge with 29 preschoolers and their parents. Activities included making traditional paper lanterns with flameless candles; counting to nine in Mandarin, which included visuals with written words and numbers in Mandarin and English; teaching a Mandarin poem at circle time (similar to 1 – 2 buckle my shoe) to re-enforce the use of the numbers; and, reading a story called Tubby and the Lantern, which follows the adventures of Tubby and his friend Ah Mee. At snack-time traditional foods such as pomelo, coconut and two types of Moon Cakes were served. Similar sessions, highlighting different cultures, are planned for the rest of the year. Heidy Kux-Kardos, South Peace SB6/Children First Coordinator will organise a "German Christmas" in December.

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