WLC vote unaminouslyThe recently formed Women’s Leadership Council (WLC) of United Way of the Thompson Nicola Cariboo, recently invested over $13,000 into two programs in Kamloops. WLC is providing 100% of the funding required to run an Intergenerational Parent-Child Mother Goose Program(R), and 50% of the funding for both the Baby’s Head Start, and the Kamloops Street School Mother Goose program in 2016.

These programs are variations of the successful Kamloops Early Language and Literacy Initiative (KELLI) Mother Goose program that brings together parents and young children to provide early literacy experiences and to improve attachment between parent and child. All three programs fit with the WLC mandate of supporting vulnerable families, children and youth in the Kamloops area and, specifically, keeping families together and honouring the attachment between mother and child.

“This is the first of many initiatives we hope to support in our community,” says WLC Chair, Chantelle Stone. “Vulnerable families come in all shapes and sizes – it’s not always about poverty, addictions or abuse. New motherhood is an emotional time when people often feel alone and question their parenting abilities. Programs like Mother Goose give us confidence in our ability, help us to bond with our child and often lead to lasting friendships.”

“Last year 827 local families participated in KELLI’s programs and Kamloops’ appetite for literacy programs is growing quickly,” says KELLI co-ordinator Maureen Doll. “These three Mother Goose programs will help us embrace and mentor some of our most vulnerable families. We would not be able to offer them without community funding like this.”

“Mother Goose is especially important for the vulnerable population who often avoid joining a group because they are self-conscious of their parenting,” explains program leader Rachel Wilson. “There was a mom who looked so uncomfortable holding her child at the first couple of sessions, but as the weeks progressed she started taking cues from the other parents in the group, and let her child explore. As the weeks passed she started smiling and interacting with her baby more and more. When a mom feels that attachment she realizes that she gets to write her own parenting experience, even if attachment in her childhood was interrupted.”

Baby’s Head Start and Street School Mother Goose started this January and the Intergenerational Mother Goose program will start in the early spring of 2016.