St. Paul and Area
Cradle to Crayon Coalition
Who we are:
As a Coalition, our mission is to promote awareness in the St. Paul and area about the importance of the early years (0 to 5 years) in terms of child development and school readiness, from the ‘cradle to crayons’.
Various programs and services relating to early childhood development and learning already exist within our community. The Coalition consists of organizations that promote and enhance the development of young children and give the appropriate support to their families. The key organizations involved are Town of St. Paul Family & Community Support Services (FCSS), Parent Link Centre, ACFA, Mannawanis Headstart, Family Literacy Program, Franco-accueil, Boys and Girls Club, St. Paul Library and Alberta Health Services. Over the last six years we have been working towards establishing a means of sharing key messages on early childhood development that can be presented in conjunction with various activities and accompanying resources that exist within our community.
Where we’ve been:
Over the years we have had funding that has enabled us to hire a coordinator to accomplish our goals which include; hosting our 6th National Child’s Day Event, creating community resource guides and brochures, putting together community resource kits for different agencies, attending several different community events to spread our mission of the early years, creating informational calendars, offering art, music and stories in the park and a community strollercize group.
We have also written articles regarding child development for the newspaper. We had a successful ‘busy kits’ workshop. It is a time where the parents assemble a kit full of developmentally appropriate activities. We discuss the domains of early childhood development and why they are important. The kits are for the families to use while out and about visiting grandparents, restaurants, doctor’s appointments, watching an older sibling’s hockey game or other activities. We encourage the use of the busy kits and developmentally appropriate activities rather than screen time. Each kit costs approximately $15.00 and had about 10 activities.
In 2018, with community partners, we created a sculpture dedicated to the importance of the early years put up in our community. The importance of early childhood and school readiness affects everyone in our community.
Where we’re going:
This year we began addressing our low Language Early Development Instrument (EDI) scores by supporting a Read and Roll program. It is a collaboration project done with 5 Coalition agencies. The Coalition supports resources while agencies work together to run the program.
The five senses – sound, taste, sight, smell and touch typically work together by collecting information about the environment that is then interpreted by the brain. This information allows them to learn, how to respond and protect themselves which aids in survival as well as learning to enjoy the world. Our Coalition is supporting the introduction of a sensational kids’ program to the community. Parents and/or caregivers will have the opportunity to create sensory activities for their children which creates a big impact for children’s sensory development.
Learn and Play Evening monthly workshops for parents and/or caregivers is another beneficial program for the community. Understanding further about the importance of fundamental development of children and additionally acquire effective strategies to stimulate the five domains of school readiness for children to the fullest.
GET IN TOUCH
Be active in the early years of your child and in the community!Be part of the group of parents, caregivers, professionals who take small steps to be engaged or If you would like to contribute to the Coalition or receive more information, please send us an email. We want to hear your opinion!