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Friday, 16 January 2015

Snack Down

As mentioned in my previous post there has been an internal SRCC competition going on to deliver the most creative snack to the children.

The time is up, the  photos and stories are in......and they are so delightful.

Sadly, although extra points were offered for taste tests by me, none were received!

The prizes are, of course, food related.

First prize Dinner for a staff meeting
Second prize team pizza lunch
Third prize baked goods for breakfast

So first to everyone who submitted an entry - thank you..... for being creative, for paying attention to the food you serve and how you serve it, for having some fun..... for seeing the opportunities this daily task can offer!

Honourable Mentions.......

Some fun ideas

These look like some healthy and delicious pancakes!

Another creative pancake and fruit need of orthodontics?

These adorable "Ghost Bananas" made me want a banana immediately...
mine may have had more than two "eyes"

And now in 3rd Place....the first entry received on a cold December day and greeted with great joy by the children at Terra Nova Children's Centre......

Snowflake Quesadilla....I bet it was yummy too!

Second Place is a tie.....between Bowling Green 3-5's and Bowling Green Infant/Toddler..... for their Pinterest worthy entries......

Blue yogurt?  Strawberry mice! A story on a plate!

When the 3-5's were told there was SNAIL for snack they were
intrigued......and delighted to meet this one ....and eat it!

And the winner, with the top 2 West Cambie Preschool!   Their snack offerings were both culinary cool but much more importantly they were completely child centered.  These Educators view their snack time as an integral and important part of their work with children and I think they showed their high image of children in both entries.

First they deconstructed snack and allowed the children to make their own fun designs.....

And yes those are blueberry buckwheat organic waffles with flax..... just saying!

My top pick though,  was the high tea they presented for the children with great care and ceremony to the great delight of the the Educators words "The children loved using the real cups and saucers to drink their tea (juice).  The children also had a choice of whole wheat bread with butter and jam, cream cheese and cucumber, or a piece of banana bread which they helped to bake."

I'm sure some lovely memories of this snack will linger with the children. 

Next time West Cambie Preschool....give me a call....I will be right over!

Great work!

And there you have it..... some wonderfully creative and attentive Educators having some fun and offering a fresh perspective on snack time.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Food Glorious Food

One of the ways we fulfill our vision "Changing the world by Honouring Childhood" is to nourish the children's bodies with good food.

It turns out there is no "Good Snack Fairy" who delivers food.....and makes wholesome snack!

We want our Educators in the classroom doing the work with children and not in grocery stores so we have been trying to find a new and efficient way to do this.

We did try an organic delivery service but it did not offer sufficient choice in the nut free products we have to have ......and it was very costly.

After trying some other options, like me doing all the groceries on my own....pushing 4 buggies around Superstore....(which was highly inefficiency although quite comedic for anyone watching me run up and down the aisles)... we linked up with the new City Market on No 5 Rd and Steveston Hwy who offer a large local and organic line as well as an excellent and comprehensive nut free product line.

Not only that but they assign us a product consultant who gets our lists ahead of time and by the time we arrive at the store many of the products are already in buggies.

This makes Jennifer and I VERY happy.

I like playing food tetris to get all the food into the buggy......the shopping lists are very long!

The staff at City Market could not be more helpful.....they dedicate two check outs to us, with baggers and packers and they help us to our cars, all with cheerfulness!

By coincidence Jennifer and I have matching Mazda 5's and we fill them to the roof and then head off to deliver the groceries to the centres.

We have this process down to 2 hours once a month now thanks to City Markets help!  And we are back on budget!  If you are in their neighbourhood be sure to stop by City Market..... you'll be glad you did.

So what happens to that food when it arrives in centre you may ask....well... we bake and make snacks of course.

In mid December I issued a challenge to all our programs to come up with THE  MOST CREATIVE snack.

I made it a competition.  With prizes.  Prizes that involve food.

I have been amazed and delighted to see some of the creations made and even more to see how Educators used snack time for so much more than just feeding the children.

Stay tuned later this week for photos of some fantastic snacks and I will announce the winners!

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Teaching and Students

I don't teach math like this :)
Last night I started a new semester of teaching in the the Delta/Richmond Continuing Education Program.

I teach Early Childhood Education students.

I teach first year students a course called "Learning Child" and second year students a course called "Math, Science and Social Studies".

Why do I teach?

I teach to stay current on best ECE practice.  There is so much new research on brain development, on innovative teaching methods, creative ways to engage children, studies from across the world.  Teaching gives me lots of opportunity to delve into some good research and reading.  I share that information with my colleagues in the SRCC too (I think sometimes they find it over-sharing ;)

I teach to get to know the next graduating class of Educators in our area.  As I develop relationships with these folks over the two years, see them grow and develop in their thinking and practice  I am always on the look out for great Educators to join the SRCC team.

I teach because we get to have some of these students come into our centres as practicum students.  This allows me to work alongside a regular SRCC staff member to mentor and guide the student.  It gets me out of my office, connects me with our staff, allows me to see the SRCC in action.  Hosting practicum students is an important way the SRCC contributes to the wider field.  I hope you will make them feel welcome when you see them in our centres.

I teach because it aligns with my values to give back to the ECE field.  To do my small part in mentoring and growing great Educators to work with the young children in our field.

So sometimes on a dark and foggy night after a long day at my desk teaching for three hours seems like a big task but more often than not I come away energized and inspired and recommitted to this important work we do.