Known as being one of the most diverse public school districts in Canada, the Vancouver School Board (VSB) is a leader in the community, working to provide an environment that promotes and facilitates quality early learning experiences for all children. Through the VSB’s StrongStart Early Learning Centres, preschool aged children are able to learn through play, parents/caregivers are encouraged to interact more with the children, and community connections are built.
In total, there are 19 StrongStart Early Learning Centres operating in elementary schools throughout the large, urban, and multicultural school district. StrongStart programs are offered at no cost to parents and caregivers with children ages zero to five years on a drop-in basis. Parents/caregivers stay with the children during the program. Each StrongStart centre provides an enriching environment filled with play based early learning opportunities and demonstrates to parents and caregivers how they can enhance their child’s development.
The emphasis of the program is on learning through play, language and positive social interactions. Activities include stories, music and art – all with a goal to help children get ready for Kindergarten.
NATURAL POD WORKS WITH STRONGSTART
Recently, the VSB started running the StrongStart program, and program leaders enlisted Natural Pod to help with the overall environment of the 19 centres.
“Working with Natural Pod really opened my eyes as to what we could do with our StrongStart centres. The Natural Pod furniture is beautiful and it integrated well with existing furniture. We learned how to use what we had and make it work for us in a new way. My favourite pieces of furniture (and the most used in our centres) are the benches and tables – the whole family sits together.“ – Colleen Dickie, Supervisor Early Learning
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