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Kids Can Fly Brantford

Kids Can Fly promotes early childhood development in Brantford/Brant

Raising Children while co-parenting workshop

co-parenting workshopThe YMCA of Hamilton/Burlington/Brantford has set up a Co-Parenting workshop with Gary Direnfeld, a reputable social worker and host of the TV show Newly Wed, Nearly Dead.  The workshop will focus on the challenges of raising a child between more than one household.  It is being held on Tuesday April 9, 2013 from 7-8:30pm at the YMCA Immigrant Settlement Services office located at 38 Darling Street – Suite 201.  This workshop is open to all members of the community, free of charge.  Families register with Christina Wood 905-317-4907 or christina_wood@ymca.ca and let her know how many people will be attending including any children as we will offer free child care services to those families for the duration of the workshop.  Spaces are limited. 

Homework Help Tips for Parents

 

Homework time can easily become stressful for many parents and children.  Kidshealth.org has created a Top 10 Homework Tips article that offers simple ideas to keep homework time effective.

Kids are more successful in school when parents take an active interest in their homework — it shows kids that what they do is important.

Of course, helping with homework shouldn’t mean spending hours hunched over a desk. Parents can be supportive by demonstrating study and organization skills, explaining a tricky problem, or just encouraging kids to take a break. And who knows? Parents might even learn a thing or two!

Here are some tips to guide the way:

  1. Know the teachersand what they’re looking for. Attend school events, such as parent-teacher conferences, to meet your child’s teachers. Ask about their homework policies and how you should be involved.
  2. Set up a homework-friendly area. Make sure kids have a well-lit place to complete homework. Keep supplies — paper, pencils, glue, scissors — within reach.
  3. Schedule a regular study time. Some kids work best in the afternoon, following a snack and play period; others may prefer to wait until after dinner.
  4. Help them make a plan. On heavy homework nights or when there’s an especially hefty assignment to tackle, encourage your child break up the work into manageable chunks. Create a work schedule for the night if necessary — and take time for a 15-minute break every hour, if possible.
  5. Keep distractions to a minimum. This means no TV, loud music, or phone calls. (Occasionally, though, a phone call to a classmate about an assignment can be helpful.)

Click here for the rest of the article:

http://kidshealth.org/parent/positive/learning/homework.html

 

Lego Surprises Boy!

LEGO surprises ten-year-old with the gift of a lifetime

04/12/2012 12:22:00 PM

by Sameer Vasta
A few weeks ago, LEGO brought joy to the life of a ten-year-old boy. Today, it reminds us that large companies can do good things too, despite the onslaught of news to the contrary.

 
Around the holidays, it’s easy to get caught up in stories of rampant consumerism and companies doing everything to maximize their profit at a time of stress and high tension. That’s why it’s so great to hear the story of James Groccia and his LEGO set to remind us that even the big companies can have good hearts.

The story is heartwarming: Groccia, a 10-year-old boy in Massachussets, had been saving up for a few years to buy a LEGO Emerald Night Train set. Groccia, who lives with Asperger’s Syndrome, uses LEGO as part of his playgroup that helps with his social skills. Just as he had saved enough money to buy the set, it was discontinued and prices on online auction sites skyrocketed. Groccia wrote a letter to LEGO to let them know of his plight.

 

Check out the video and the rest of the story here http://news.sympatico.ca/oped/coffee-talk/lego_surprises_ten-year-old_with_the_gift_of_a_lifetime/a0abb7ce

Preventing Summer Learning Loss

Summer is a time to relax and have fun, but it’s also a time when children can experience learning loss.  There are simple and free ways to help keep our children learning over the summer.  Regular day to day activities are great for literacy and numeracy.  Writing a grocery list or having your child read your grocery list when shopping helps with literacy.  Baking and using fractions helps with math. 

Here is a link to an article for more ideas on preventing summer learning loss

http://privateschool.about.com/od/schoollife/a/Prevent-Summer-Learning-Loss.htm

Kids Can Fly – Friends of Major Ballachey

Kids Can Fly is supporting the Friends of Major Ballachey in their campaign to improve literacy skills in their younger grades through the use of educational technology.  We are aware of the high needs of the children in this school catchment area and were instrumental in establishing the Early Learning and Parenting Centre there in 2004.  We know that 27% of children in our community do NOT graduate from high school and that a child’s literacy level at grade 3 usually is indicative of their long term success.

Major Ballachey school in Brantford has made it a priority to improve literacy in their Kindergarten and primary students.  The school was a pilot for the new Full Day Kindergarten Program and has implemented the Ministry of Education’s newest curriculum and methods.

Research has shown that the use of technology in Kindergarten and primary classrooms can lead to improvements in literacy.  Recent research on the use of  iPads showed that “students on all grade levels showed improvement in literacy areas including, making learning visible, writing compositions, digital storytelling, and, for kindergarten classes – handwriting and phonemic awareness, improvement reported in math included: the concepts underlying basic operations, logical problem solving, patterns and puzzles, spatial reasoning, and making learning visible.” On the basis of these findings Major Ballachey has made the purchasing of educational technology (iPads) for their Kindergarten and primary classes a priority.

Major Ballachey strives to meet the educational needs of a diverse range of students. Some of the families whose children attend Major Ballachey have limited resources to support their child’s education. 

The Grand Erie District School Board of Education’s compensatory schools ranking ranks schools based on family income, family education, and the number of single parent families. The rankings identified Major Ballachey School as serving some of the neediest students in the board area.

There are already many programs and supports in place to address the exceptional needs of some students. Programs such as the Daily Snack Program, the Boys & Girls Club of Brantford after-school program, the “Best Start Early Years and Parenting Centre’, the “Strong Start Early Literacy Program” and many extra supports provided to the school through GEDSB Compensatory Schools Designation help make Major Ballachey a supportive environment for students.  In spite of these many programs some students fail to develop effective early literacy skills. This causes cumulative learning problems both in later grades and into adulthood.

Improving literacy in our Kindergarten and primary students (grades 1-3) is a major focus for the school. The school was a pilot site for the new Full Day Kindergarten Program and has implemented the Ministry of Education’s newest curriculum and methods.

Recent research has shown that the use of technology in Kindergarten and primary classrooms can lead to improvements in literacy. The Maine Kindergarten Pilot showed that “students on all grade levels showed improvement in literacy areas including, making learning visible, writing compositions, digital storytelling, and, for kindergarten classes – handwriting and phonemic awareness. Improvement reported in math included: the concepts underlying basic operations, logical problem solving, patterns and puzzles, spatial reasoning, and making learning visible.” On the basis of these findings Major Ballachey has made the purchasing of educational technology (iPads) for our Kindergarten and primary classes a priority.  The school’s recent fundraising campaign was kicked off by informing students that all money raised would be used to purchase tablet technology for the school. Students responded by exceeding the school target, but we are still far short of what we need.

We plan to purchase two class sets of iPads (60). The iPads will be used in the Kindergarten and primary classes to help students build literacy skills, and will be available to improve the education of all students at Major Ballachey for the rest of the day. This program will give approximately 120 students (over half the school) daily access to the most up to date and effective methods of improving literacy skills that we are aware of.  We are focussing on the Kindergarten and primary classes to maximize the long term benefits of the program. Students who develop better literacy skills at a young age carry those skills, and the confidence gained, into higher grades. They stay in school longer, are more likely to graduate high school and to become productive members of society.

We are calling on local businesses, service groups and community members to make this dream a reality for Major Ballachey.  Donations can be made online or by mailing cheques to Kids Can Fly, 110 German School Road, R.R. #1, Paris, Ontario, N3L 3E1.  Tax receipts will be issued.

I want to help Major Ballachey purchase iPads


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