The West Coast’s young family demographic is booming and two Ready, Set, Learn events are on their way to help local families connect while getting connected to the important services available to them.
The free events are designed for families with children under 6 years old—older siblings are welcome—and will be held at Ucluelet Elementary School on Nov. 14 and Wickaninnish Community School on Nov. 15. Both events will run on a drop-in basis from 4-6 p.m.
“Ready, Set, Learn is a fun event that’s meant for young children and their parents to come explore the school and play,” School District 70’s community developer Stacey Manson told the Westerly.
“There will be lots of opportunities to pique their interest in lots of different things.”
While kids find adventures in school gyms packed with activities to get stoked on, parents can meet with service providers including public health nurses, Strongstart facilitators, Alberni Valley Early Years Centre staffers and an audiologist who will be providing free hearing tests for kids.
“We want to be able to make connections with families and make connections with great programs such as Strongstart and also provide support for families and kids. Research shows that if you’re able to provide support, whether it’s speech and language or behaviour or dental health, the earlier the better,” she said.
“It’s super exciting for us to be able to meet families and, if families have any questions about their children, then we can have a lot of fun but also hopefully connect them to service providers that might be able to help.”
A community baby boom has brought an increase of young locals and Manson suggested the amount of young families bringing their kids to the Coast is rising.
“The trends are telling us that there’s a lot of young families on the West Coast,” she said.
“Schools are really growing because people are choosing, I think, to stay all year and not just come seasonally but, instead, move their families.”
The theme of this year’s Ready, Set, Learn events is Community Heroes and, Manson said, local first responders will be on hand for kids to meet and be inspired by.
“It will be guaranteed a lot of fun,” she said. “There’s going to be great snacks and great opportunities to all play together.”
Each child who attends will receive a free book, ‘Clothesline Clues to Jobs People Do,’ which Manson said fits well with the Community Heroes theme.
She encourages anyone with questions about the event to contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 250-720-1414.