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Calendar helps parents prepare children for school

SIMCOE, JAN. 31, 2007 – Parents with youngsters about to enter the school system have access to a new teaching aid, thanks to the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit and its partners.

The 2007-2008 Kindergarten Ready, Set, Go Calendar is now available and provides helpful information, tips and activities parents can use to guide their children through Junior and Senior Kindergarten, as well as prepare them for Grade 1.

The calendar, produced by the local Health Unit in conjunction with Brant County Health Unit, Brantford Public Library, Ontario Early Years Centre, Grand Erie District School Board and Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board, will be distributed at Junior and Senior Kindergarten registrations, which take place at the Catholic board the week of Feb. 5 to 9 and at the Grand Erie board from Feb. 12 to 16.

Parents can also pick up a copy of the calendar at Ontario Early Years Centres at 172 Argyle St., N., Caledonia; 12 Colborne St., N., Simcoe; or 330 West St., Brantford. Copies are also available at the Brantford Public Library, 173 Colborne St.

The calendar is packed with helpful preschool and Kindergarten-level learning tips designed to promote a child’s physical health and well-being, social development, emotional development, communication skills, knowledge and thinking skills.

For example, on March 5, 2007, the calendar urges you to “make a fruit salad snack together” and on April 21 you can “help your child make letters out of modelling clay.” On May 18, you are encouraged to “look for numbers in books and newspapers” and on June 11, you are advised to “ask your child to help sort laundry, cutlery or groceries.”

The calendar contains games and exercises, as well as practical information on such items as school holidays, legal requirements regarding immunization for children and guidelines on how long a child should stay home when sick.

“Various checklists and logs, such as a ‘brushing log’ that children can colour each time they brush their teeth, make the learning experience fun for the whole family,” says Lina Hassen, Health Promoter, Healthy Babies Healthy Children Program, Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit.

The calendar also lists a variety of resources parents can access, such as the Ontario Early Years Centres in Haldimand and Norfolk, the Haldimand Norfolk Preschool Speech and Language Program, and Safe Kids Canada. All three organizations can help you prepare your child for school entry. The speech and language program assists children from birth through Junior Kindergarten with communication development, while Safe Kids Canada offers advice on how to protect children from injury. The Ontario Early Years Centres – with the motto of giving your child a place “to play, to learn, to grow” – offer a variety of supports to children, parents and caregivers.

“The calendar is a highly informative, useful, fun way for parents to be directly involved in the education and upbringing of their children in partnership with the school system,” Hassen says. “To give each child the best start possible, it is essential that educators, families and members of the community work together to build children’s confidence, encourage them to continue to see learning as both enjoyable and useful, and provide a strong foundation for their future intellectual, physical and social development.”

The calendar is one of many projects undertaken by the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit’s Healthy Babies Healthy Children Program, which focuses on the healthy growth of children from pregnancy to age 6.

For further information, contact
Lina Hassen, B.A. Hons. Workplace Health
Health Promoter
Healthy Babies Healthy Children
Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit
282 Argyle St, S.
Caledonia ON N3W 1K7
Tel: 905-318-5367 Ext. 304
Fax: 905-765-8905
Email: lina.hassen@hnhu.org