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.
By, Adrienne Pullen
The Success By 6 Initiative in Barriere BC has been hosting an annual “Baby Welcome Party” for six years now and the positive impacts of this event continue to be evident in our community. All families who have brought a child into the world in each calendar year are invited to this spring time event where they have the opportunity to meet the other parents and babies whose futures will be shaped along with theirs as they grow and become part of the community. Through the developing years, from baby to teenager, their lives will continue to touch through the common bond your babies all share, the year they were born.
The event focuses on fostering health and safety in early development. Local service providers and professionals are on hand, giving parents the opportunity to connect with them, gather information and find out what services are available locally. An informal focus group is also conducted allowing families to have a voice in community planning. Their feedback is used in our annual strategic planning in regards to programs and services addressing any needs or gaps identified. It is important to note that the first couple of years that the baby party was held, there were many services and programs identified as needs in the community that were not being met. As a direct result of identifying these needs, SB6 was able to grant funds to organizations willing to offer those identified programs and services. In more recent years, it is gratifying to see that the feedback from the families in attendance is that they feel their community is well supported and connected with adequate programs and services.
Feedback from families who attend is also very encouraging, as they enjoy the opportunity to meet other families and service providers. They also enjoy a free catered lunch and birthday cake! Older siblings can also participate in a children’s program which includes crafts, activities, songs, and rhymes. Each family gets a gift bag with information as well as products promoting health, safety and development. There are also several door prizes donated from community businesses promoting health, safety and development, i.e. child safety passenger seats, term deposits, etc.
Another benefit to note is that hosting this event in partnership with other organizations such as: The Barriere and District Seniors Society, Barriere Interior Savings and Credit Union, Barriere Lions Club, Barriere I.D.A. Pharmacy, the North Thompson Aboriginal Sharing Center, North Thompson Volunteer Association, AG Foods, I.C.B.C, The North Thompson Star Journal, Interior Health, and The District of Barriere, has served to strengthen our community partnerships, foster business engagement and raise public awareness of the importance of the early years.