Success By 6® is an early childhood development initiative dedicated to providing all children with a good start in life. It helps to ensure that children ages 0 to 6 develop the emotional, social, cognitive, and physical skills they need as they enter school. Each of our Success By 6 coordinators have written a short success stories to illustrate the impact of their work. Below is one of those stories.
Williams Lake Success Story
By, LeRae Haynes
Success by 6 sponsored the Secwepewc Preschool Circus at the Dog Creek Community Hall in August 2011—an event organized to bring communities together, provide fun activities for kids and families and provide health screening in four areas for children starting preschool and Kindergarten.
The Secwepemc Preschool Circus was organized through Three Corners Health and featured partnerships with Canoe Creek Band, Williams Lake Indian Band, Soda Creek Band and the Williams Lake Child Development Centre.
Martina Camille from Community Health in Canoe Creek/Dog Creek, was one of the main organizers of the event. She said that the successful Circus was a true collaboration that celebrated both the connection of children to their communities and their entrance to Kindergarten.
“It was such a positive experience: I enjoyed walking around and seeing all the little kids’ faces lit up,” she said. “There was so much for them to do, and having live music for the kids was wonderful.”
There were health care workers, family support workers, early education coordinators and volunteers on site offering a range of fun activities for young children, including face painting, a fish pond, crafts, snacks, live music provided by Success by 6, prizes and more. The screening booths provided friendly, interactive activities for the kids and parents, and the community put on a fresh, healthy, delectable lunch buffet for guests and participants.
The lunch included things like fresh watermelon and cherries, chopped vegetables and several beautiful salmon dishes. “Our fishermen went out and caught 20 fish the day before and donated them for the event,” Martina explained.
Three Corners Health’s ‘Healthy Living Circle of Life’ program was represented at the Circus, as well as Canoe Creek and Dog Creek Head Start, Knucwentwecw Society, and the ‘Swsmemelt’ program for 17 bands and their children and families.
Screening included fine motor skills, speech, dental, basic height and weight and gross motor skills. Prizes for kids included bicycles, Little Tyke Riders and good quality helmets, and each pre-Kindergarten child received a backpack with school supplies.
Save On Foods generously donated cases of bottled water and fresh watermelon, and Cariboo Chilcotin Partners for Literacy provided books for children at the event.
“This was the first time the Preschool Circus has been held here in our community,” Martina stated. “We were so happy to host this event—what a positive experience.”