Fourth Annual CFK Parenting Conference – October 2008
On Saturday, October 25, 2008, Communities for Kids held its Fourth Annual Parenting Conference at Similkameen Elementary Secondary School in Keremeos, BC. Sixty-twp participants enjoyed the opportunity to explore ideas on how to encourage and enhance the development of children up to 6 years of age. The day-long conference gave participants the choice of three workshops from important topics such as: How to Grow a Child’s Brain; Healthy Opportunities for Preschoolers’ Block Party; Alphabet Soup; Family Creativity; Readers Threatre; and Infant Massage and Building Attachment with our Children Sixteen display tables offered information on many aspects of caring for children, and wonderful door prizes donated by local businesses and agencies were given away throughout the day. Participants not only enjoyed delicious refreshments and lunch provided by a local caterer, but were also entertained at lunch by a children’s Reader’s Theatre group, and young First Nations Spirit Drummers Canvas tote bags containing valuable information as well as a book, stickers, crafts ideas, games, songs and activities were presented to each participant to take home. Comments from the conference evaluation included, “What an excellent day. Thank you”; “Very much worth time and travel. Wonderful!”; and “This is an amazing conference – all parents should do this. Thanks!”
Workshops and Presenters
Are you experiencing brain fatigue? Is your memory going? Are you living and working in a multi-tasking environment? If
so, your brain may be at risk for burning out early. This practical presentation provides information and techniques to
make your life and job easier. Find out what a healthy brain needs and what brain killers to avoid. This energetic and lively
session is filled with hope and optimism for your future. Find out how to use it before you lose it!
Is it possible to grow the child’s brain? Definitely YES! With the right conditions and appropriate support, the brain can
grow to its fullest potential, setting the path for life long learning. This optimistic presentation will demonstrate how to do
this in a fun and interactive way. Learn priceless techniques and information from Neuroscience. Educators, parents and
children need to know – “If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it, EARLY!”
Gary Anaka is a recently retired learning specialist with 30 years of experience from Nanaimo, BC. He is a study skills
expert, a brain gymnastics coach and he has been a Brain-Based Learning facilitator since 1996. Gary received his
facilitator’s certification from the Jensen Learning Corporation of San Diego, California, a world-leading institute that trains
professionals in the new field of Applied Educational Neuroscience. Gary has presented workshops to thousands of
educators, professionals, and the general public. His sessions offer genuine practical help for everyone. He believes in
wellness through education to support healthy living for people of all ages.
Caregivers of children age 3 to 5 years will walk away with new ideas which integrate literacy, healthy eating, and physical
activity. Participants will receive a copy of the HOP Early Learning Practitioners Resource. Come ready to learn activities
that help you to spend time playfully and productively with children.
Diane Stewart is an Early Childhood Educator and has worked in the field since 1994.She is currently working as the
Manager of Tee Pee Tot Daycare in Cawston B.C.
There is no toy that brings greater joy or has greater learning value than the old fashioned wooden building blocks. Block
play helps with social development, intellectual growth, balance, perception, and small and large muscle coordination.
Research has linked block play by young children with improved language and mathematical skills. Join Louise for a
“Block Party” and rediscover the joy of learning!
Louise Heck is a mother of four and a grandmother. She began her child care career as a Family Child Care Provider in
Alberta and has since obtained her Early Childhood Educator certification with Special Needs and Infant Toddler citations.
Currently, she coordinates the Boundary Child Care Resource and Referral. Time and experience has only increased her
enthusiasm for children.
Alphabet Soup is an early literacy program for pre-schoolers and their parents or caregivers. Children learn about cooking
and nutrition, songs, stories and crafts all centered on a literacy theme. These activities include “reading” recipe cards,
measuring, mixing, and listening to stories, singing rhymes and songs, learning new vocabulary, creating alphabet
scrapbooks and practicing good manners. This is an invaluable program for preparing children for kindergarten.
Participants in this workshop will explore various print and web-based resources dealing with kids in the kitchen, talk
about nutrition, discuss ways to create fun in the kitchen, learn new rhymes, develop their own picture recipes and
measure and mix their own “recipe in a jar” to take home.
Lizanne Eastwood is the Family Literacy Coordinator in Grand Forks and the West Boundary, working with The
Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy. Her passions include reading, cooking and children, so the creation of the Alphabet
Soup program was a natural fit. Lizanne is also a home schooling parent of two teens, a Mother Goose Facilitator and
works at the Grand Forks Public Library. She believes that the more time we spend with our children in the early years;
playing, cooking, reading and learning, the better prepared they are to live a rich and meaningful life.
Experience arts and crafts from a child’s perspective. Participants in this session will have fun learning why the love of
arts & crafts for children is in the DOING, not the finished product. Explore fun and creative activities, and take home lots
of ideas for you and your child to do together.
Kelly Moog’s joy in life is children, especially her very first grandchild, Rose. Over the years she has worked with children
and families facilitating a variety of children’s groups and parenting programs. Currently she works with Communities for Kids,CAP-C and the Infant Development Program.
Readers Theatre brings stories to life for young readers! It is a fun and creative tool for helping children with their skills in
reading out loud. Readers Theatre performances can entertain at family gatherings; they can be used in classroom
learning groups and summer programs. They can become part of a larger production in school auditoriums and
community theatres. The most basic elements of Readers Theatre can be used by a caregiver and child cuddled together
at story time. In this engaging and creative workshop, Barb will lead the group to discover how ‘minimal theatre’ can
inspire young readers to use their voices, facial expressions and hand gestures to present characters in scripts and
Barb Stewart has, for 30 years, shared her love of children’s literature with groups of children and families in preschools,
cultural centers, hospitals, churches and schools throughout Alberta and B.C. Barb developed a ‘volunteer parent support’
program at Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary in her 13 years there. She coordinated The Similkameen Family Literacy
program and The South Similkameen Family Center in Keremeos for 14 years and worked passionately with teams of
parents to develop children’s play and learning spaces throughout the Similkameen Valley. She is currently most proud to
be a volunteer Roots of Empathy Instructor in School District #53. Barb writes poetry and short stories for children and
has gathered a collection of more than 300 beautiful children’s books in her home library. She now works out of her home
on Ginty’s Pond in Cawston, primarily with ESL learners.
Infant massage has many benefits for babies and for their caregivers. Besides helping to relieve gas and colic, infant
massage can help babies relax and sleep better, and promotes good circulation and digestion. Best of all, massaging your
baby is a wonderfully enjoyable way to build the loving connection between the two of you. In this workshop Karen will
show you basic techniques of infant massage, as well as adaptations for children of all ages. Karen will also discuss
attachment and ways that caregivers can build close connections with children. Please bring a doll to this session for the
“hands on” massage demonstration.
Karen Brough is the Coordinator of The Infant Development Program for the South Okanagan-Similkameen. She has
worked with children and families for many years and has degrees in both Psychology and Community Rehabilitation.