New Family Programs at Levack Public School

BY SAMANTHA BRAZEAU-WILSON

In September, EarlyON Child & Family Center (ON y va Chelmsford) and Our Children, Our Future (OCOF) partnered to bring free early learning and family support programs to Levack Public School which were previously not available within the community of Onaping Falls.

“Our families deserve equitable services and opportunities,  so I made it a priority,” said Enza MacEachern, principal of Levack Public School. “Not all our families have vehicles to get to programs out of our area and the bus system is not always convenient for parents with young children so unfortunately some parents went without.”

Programs offered include an Open Door program that allows parents to drop in and ask questions about their child’s development or behaviour,  a weekly playgroup that gives children and their parents the opportunity to interact together in an open and welcoming environment, and weekly cooking classes where families are taught how to prepare healthy, freezable meals that they can bring home afterwards.

“We sent out a survey to the community during the summer with options of what programming they would be interested in and an overwhelming percentage were interested in cooking programs,” said Kim Richer, Family Resource Worker at OCOF.

She adds that each class is based on budget-friendly recipes that include a minimum of four take-home meals that can also be adapted to accommodate those with allergies or dietary restrictions.

All of the programs and services offered at Levack Public School are completely free and only require being a parent/caregiver of a child between the age of  0-12 or are expecting.

Enza said that with these new programs in place, she’s hoping for more parent engagement in the community and is focusing on working on more programs such as bringing a satellite food bank and clothing closet inside of Levack Public School for parents who may need this service.

Families who are interested in attending a playgroup can drop in Friday between 9:30 am and 11:30 am. Those interested in cooking classes or who have questions about other resources are encouraged to contact OCOF at 705-677-0440 ext. 265.