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Westlock Thorhild County

Rural Kids Matter

Who we are:

Rural Kids Matter Coalition (RKM) serves a very vast area that includes Westlock County, Thorhild County, and the Hamlets of Flatbush and Chisholm.
Around the Coalition table, our members include parents and caregivers, local agencies, libraries, museums, and daycare centres. As a Coalition, we are involved in all early childhood activities that take place in our area.

Where we’ve been:

During the ECMap Research Project, a team of passionate, amazing, and determined individuals within our area, came together to create an environment that launched a campaign to help parents and communities better understand the importance of early childhood development in our Coalition area. We went on to study the resources around us and created a plan to enhance the existing ECD programs that Parent Link, Healthy Families, and other agencies provide, and develop new ideas that would further create positive energy toward our communities.

RKM created tool kits for families to learn about developmental domains. The ‘fine motor skills’ tool kit consists of a hole punch, scissors, clay, glue, paper, stress balls, and crayons, in a retro metal lunch box. The ‘gross motor skills’ tool kit includes soccer balls, rackets, chalk, bubbles, scoop ball game, and frisbees.

Where we’re going:

Regardless of our regional school boards no longer engaging in the Early Development Instrument (EDI) assessment tool, RKM continues to strive in our Coalition area to promote early childhood development so parents and caregivers understand the importance of helping children develop in all areas. It also helps in understanding potential pre-school programming that parents/caregivers may wish to choose for their children.

RKM continues to develop stronger relationships within all communities by way of open and relaxed conversations with parents and caregivers. Throughout the next fiscal year, we will strive to continue our partnerships, and create new ones that we are missing around the table. We are also focused on developing tools that will enhance social/emotional intelligence to help our families and their children thrive.

RKM is developing better community connections through guest speakers and free presentations for community involvement to raise awareness on ECD brain development, specifically, Resilience, and Paper Tigers screenings. These actions continue to enhance the importance of ECD and raise awareness of the amount of support within our area.

Coalition Map


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! Get in Touch with Your Local Coalition!

Coalitions as of 2020