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Tuesday, 24 February 2015

The new kid

I think many of you are awaiting news of our new centre at Steveston and No 5 in the old Fantasy Garden Castle joined to the brand new presentation centre for The Gardens........ a name for this centre has not been chosen but it will not be "Fantasy Castle" as was suggested to me this week!

If you have any name suggestions we'd love to hear them!

So really what you all want to know is "When is it opening?".

Well.....not as soon as we had hoped.

It's a challenging project and it has had some...... challenges...... I am guessing about 15% of the grey hairs on my head are directly attributable to this project and it is barely started!

The official line is that it will be completed in 2015.

The reality of that is that we will likely look to open it in the Spring of 2016 depending on 3-5 enrollment. We know we can fill the Infant/Toddlers 12 spaces already but to finance those spaces we need the 3-5's 25 spaces to be full (or very close).

Stay tuned - we will use this blog to update you.... we are currently signing off on floor plans and working on landscape plans and interior design details and within the month the project should move forward to the Building Approval stage at the City.

Here are some photos.....

Still two separate building but soon to be one

The 3-5 playground

A 12 acre park is our neighbour to the east - fabulous! 

Above - The future site of the Infant Toddler Playground

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

The 5 x 7 Project

“Jennifer!  Take a picture of me!  Take a picture of me!”

That seems to be what I hear the most these days when I visit our programs.  

A few months ago, I started a project of taking photos of the children with the intention of displaying them on the walls of our centres in the hopes that it would show how we honour the childhood of these children which is our vision.  

The idea came after a visit with the London Bridge Child Care Programs in London, Ontario where they had numerous photos of their children posted around their centres. The photos were very carefully taken with much thought into capturing who the child is.  I really admired that so I set out to start my own project.  I was very specific about wanting them to be 5 x 7s because I wanted them to be big enough to capture the essence of the child but small enough so that I could still post several of them on the wall.  I struggled to decide whether I wanted the photos to be in black and white or colour.  In the end, I chose black and white because I find that there is a feeling of stillness in a black and white photo.  I also find that black and white photos focus on the subject which helps in capturing the personality of a child.

This project has been such a labour of love in so many ways.  What started out as a goal for myself to capture every single child we have in the SRCC has become so much more than that.  Taking these photos of the children has given me a chance to get to know them and engage with them.  It’s funny how you can learn so much about a child when you are following them around like the paparazzi!  I have learned that some children are so used to having their photo taken that they either:  a) run away from me when they hear my camera turn on or b) they strike a pose <<cue the Vogue music>>.  Without fail though after the image is captured, they love to see themselves on the screen which leads to many conversations of how the image gets into the camera. 

This project has become more than just taking photos and posting them on the wall.  It gives families a way to engage with the children as well.  I am based at West Cambie Children’s Centre and the photos at that centre are posted down the hallway right outside my office where all the families have to walk down to get to the programs.  I have thoroughly enjoyed listening to the children talk to their families about the photos….their photos.  There is always a sense of pride or jubilation when they find their own photo to show to their parents.  

Once I have completed all the photos which will definitely be an ongoing project.  I am hoping to ask families to put their child’s name on these photos and write out how they came up with the name.  Our names are such an integral part of who we are – it is the beginning of our story.

This is my Story…..My name is Jennifer……….and this is what my role is.  I am the Program Director for the SRCC and I visit all our programs to check in and see how our educators (and children) are doing in terms of following our curriculum and living out our vision and values.  It is a unique position as it allows me to mentor educators as well as learn from them.  And of course, this position gives me the opportunity to engage with each child in the SRCC and dwell in their thinking with them.  

As for my name…Jennifer Anthea, I was given my Chinese name first which phonetically sounds like “See Wah” and it serves to be a reminder of my Chinese heritage.  My parents decided that Jennifer sounded the most compatible with my Chinese name.  As for my second name, my Dad’s name is Anthony and my parents wanted a name for me that is a feminine version of Anthony and thus, Anthea came to be.  That is the story of my name and now we’d love to hear your story of your child’s name.

In the meantime, keep looking for new photos being posted up!