Dear parents and children of the East Shore:
Hello! My name is Jacqueline, the Primary Coordinator for a new program through Community Connections, now named Junior Squad. This is a year-round program for 6 to 11 year olds on the East Shore. We are receiving funds from the Columbia Basin Trust Thriving Families Grant, Credit Union, and likely more community supporting grant providers as we move forward. This programme is for ALL 6-11 juniors, both school kids and homeschooled kids.
Art, music, nature walks, gardening, mindfulness & yoga, dance, survival skills, tracking, treasure hunts, science experiments, concerts, theatre, … and eventually movie nights too! We’ll be involved in fund-raisers, community events, and intergenerational activities, all within a safe and respectful environment.
As we get more organised and have a better idea of our numbers, we will have a more solid, consistent schedule, but for now, please be patient with us! For those of you familiar with the East Shore Youth Council / Network, we are modelling OUR programme in a similar fashion: weekly activities all year, open communication, adherence to group values and policies, and of course we’ll have some healthy snacks!
Some house-keeping notes:
- Newsletters (like this one) will come out on Thursdays, announcing planned activities, asking you to register your child (or not) & to participate in fundraisers (please!?), cancellations, safety concerns, updates on equipment / supply acquisitions, …
- Julie Morin is the assistant coordinator for now (hopefully permanent): we are working together to bring you some awesome quality hours for your kid(s). There will always be 2 responsible adults (with up-to-date first aid training) on site.
- Fund-raisers: kids and parents/guardians are asked to participate as much as they are able to, because 1) We are required through the grant to match funds via other various ways; 2) The more $ we’ve got, the more stellar our activities can be; and 3) Kids are great at fund-raisers ~people love supporting their activities.
- PAPERWORK TO SIGN: all parents/guardians AND kids will be REQUIRED to sign various important forms BEFORE THE CHILD IS ALLOWED TO PARTICIPATE IN ANY PROGRAMMING. These forms ensure everyone is safe, comfortable, calm, confident, and happy. Emergency contact & medical info, kid & parent/guardian expectations & code-of-conduct,… These forms will be regularly reviewed for updates. Please inform us of any changes as needed.
- *’Code-of-conduct’ forms* are to be read by parents AND child, together with myself as a witness, so that I know the info has been thoroughly covered. I am enforcing a strict “3-strikes-you’re out” policy, supported by all of our board members, meaning that if a child’s behaviour is unreasonably disruptive or dangerous even after being advised to switch it, they will be banned from activities for a month. *To be registered for further programming, conversations with parent/child/coordinators and, if needed, the Parent Advisory and/or Community Connections Board, will be held and issues addressed confidentially. I cannot stress this enough: we ALL need to comply with our (very reasonable) rules.
- YOU WILL NEED TO REGISTER YOUR CHILD FOR EVERY ACTIVITY (IN-PERSON ~with me~ or VIA EMAIL), for the planning process. In order to ensure a proper child/adult ratio, you must let us know by the Monday before our gathering, if your child will be attending that week. Depending on the activity, some will have a strongly-enforced cap (max) of participants, and others will be open for last-minute participants. Do not assume your kid can just tag along: THEY MUST BE REGISTERED. *All of this info will come at you in these weekly newsletters, so you will be informed, don’t worry!
- LOCATION: FOR NOW WE WILL BE MEETING AT THE SCHOOL, AT THE PERFORMANCE SPACE. DATES: we are starting on Friday March 10th, 2023, @ 2:45 until 5pm (Karate in the gym starts at 5) and will be staying with this limited schedule until after spring break. Spring Break camp: being discussed for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (March 21, 22, 23) ~ if there is enough sign-up. April hours will increase to occasional Saturdays 10-1, and possibly another after-school time (depending on other activities being planned at the CBESS and in the community).
- COSTS: we are asking for a 2$ participation fee for each child, per day. (talk to us directly if this is a problem, we’ll work something out!)
- Parents/ guardians of school kids: make sure you have registered your kid(s) and signed all the paperwork by 2:45 or 3pm this Friday, or before your child joins us, that is, come to the school! We cannot have your kid in our group if you have not filled in these forms. Dee and Garry will be joining us to help facilitate this first day, which will be mostly crazy-crafts and some fun sports. Homeschoolers: parents please check-in with us and sign those forms! Contact me to arrange paperwork signing before Friday if you cannot be at the school.
Your job, ASAP:
- Please email me back with the name & age of your child, and an idea of your child’s commitment to the group (squad). eg) “they will come every friday”, or “they will come every once in a while”. …
- If you cannot attend March 10th at 2:45 for signing a few papers, please let me know, we can arrange to meet early next week. Please do not text me at home: use the email email@example.com
- Are you able to volunteer, occasionally? Tell me! Do you have a special skill you’d like to share with the group? We’d love to make it happen.
I hope this isn’t too much information. I promise that subsequent newsletters will not be so girthy.
Peace & carrots,
Please forward this email to other local parents/guardians ONLY (as I do not have access to everyone’s addresses), to ensure that all kids know about this awesome group!