In the past four years Success by 6 has given out approximately $140,000 to programs and organizations in the Williams Lake area supporting children 0-6 years and their families.
With another round of funding in place, the local table is once again accepting applications for innovative initiatives.
Success by 6 is funded by BC credit unions, the provincial government and United Way, and money is dispersed to local Success by 6 tables throughout BC.
All decisions about where and how the money is spent are made by the local community committee, following sets of guidelines and criteria.
Success by 6 community coordinator LeRae Haynes states that she looks forward every year to the proposals that come in.
“We’ve had the opportunity to fund projects that include the Children’s Festival, the Family Festival, bike rodeos for kids and preschool health screening events,” she said. “We’ve also funded Ipads and software for kindergarten kids and for the Child Development Centre, interactive computer language programs and a school sound field system for children with hearing challenges.”
She said that they’ve also funded an aboriginal ‘Parents as Literacy Supporters’ program in rural communities, supported an innovative natural playground at Little Moccasins Early Learning and funded a ‘Take a Child Outside’ program last year at Scout Island Nature Centre for local children.
The local Success by 6 table includes people from the business community, First Nations community organizations, early learning, health, the faith community and social service agencies. They bring a broad range of perspective and experience to Success by 6 in Williams Lake, Haynes says.
“We look for programs that help prevent childhood vulnerability and give kids the best possible foundation for success,” she said. “This touches every aspect of our community, and having such diverse local representation on our table helps us see a ‘bigger picture’ when making funding decisions.”
She also said that it’s more than about the money.
“Success by 6 is about all of us and affects the future of our families, our communities and our province. Being aware of the incredible importance of the early years and doing what we can to keep that focus sharp and constant will benefit all of us in the long run.”
Two of the Success by 6 funded projects this year were interactive Ipads and software for the Marie Sharpe Elementary School Kindergarten class last spring and for the Child Development Centre.
The kindergarten class had 22 kids, including two autistic children with severe language deficiencies, and had a high percentage of children described as socially, physically and academically ‘vulnerable.’
The Child Development Centre (CDC) uses the Success by 6-funded Ipad to provide children with speech language delays a teaching and communication tool that can assist in language acquisition.
“This is a great way to have conversations and talk about manners and character—it improves listening skills, observations, language and understanding,” explained CDC speech pathologist Julia Hodder.
“The program can be tailored to each child and you can look for themes that each child is interested in—things that motivate him or her,” she said. “It isn’t just for speech pathology; it can also be used in occupational therapy.”
She said that you can read books and talk about the stories, enjoy games, music, humour and art with kids.
“The fun and interactive games are a reward for the child making the sounds with the therapist. In one of the games, you can add your own voice, and another where you speak and it takes a picture of your face and inserts it into a character,” she continued. “You hear the word, say the word, shape the word and feel the word in your mouth.”
Success by 6 has recently partnered with Kiwanis in Williams Lake in an exciting education program at Scout Island that gives all preschool and kindergarten kids, their teachers and parent volunteers in the area the opportunity to come face to face with nature in their own backyards—increasing their knowledge, confidence and ability to experience the natural world around them.
Success by 6 in Williams Lake is currently accepting applications for programs running from Jan. 31 to Aug. 31, 2013.
For more information about Success by 6 in Williams Lake, including funding available for programs supporting children 0-6 in Williams Lake and surrounding communities, email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 250-398-9848.