Communities across Alberta will be celebrating youngsters in various ways this National Child Day with Sylvan Lake set to see another successful year at the Community Centre.
On Nov. 18 from 1-5 p.m., a host of local stakeholders will have a plethora of free activities for parents and their children to enjoy, such as bouncy castles, face painting and storytelling.
This year’s event is courtesy of a partnership between the Flipside Youth Centre, Community Partners, Lakeview ParentLink, FCSS and the Sylvan Lake Early Childhood (EC) Coalition.
The local EC Mapping Coalition is comprised of community members and organizations with a vested interest in fostering a culture of support for children in the early years to flourish and succeed.
Giselle Campbell, organizer of the local National Child Day event and a member of the coalition, explained the group would be sponsoring this year’s storyteller, Shawn Palm.
Palm, a Sylvan Lake resident and president of the local Toast Masters International club, Sylvan’s Slick Speakers, will be doing readings throughout the day. Campbell explained the story telling aspect of the local event aims to increase language and literacy skills of local youth.
The local EC Coalition is part of a provincial initiative,The Early Child Development Mapping Project, in which the province gathered and analyzed information about early childhood development in Alberta and worked to build community capacity to support families and young children.
“The province asked Kindergarten teachers to do an EDI – they evaluate the children on a global scope in five different domains and then we all got results,” explains Campbell.
“All the kindergarten children were observed by their teachers in these five different domains and then we all got results. Areas where we were lacking are then looked at by the local EC Mapping Coalition and we work to promote those areas in various ways.”
According to the project’s website, www.ecmap.ca, the province analyzed Early Development Instrument (EDI) data on more than 70,200 kindergarten-aged children during a five year period ending in June 2014, creating the first baseline early development results for Alberta.
Community development coordinators then mobilized community coalitions across the province to work with the data and support positive outcomes.
One hundred coalitions are now active throughout Alberta, raising public awareness about the importance of the early years and making a positive, informed contribution to discussions of how policies, programs and other supports can be improved to promote the well-being of young children and families.
“We want to engage people and keep them aware of the idea that every year, Nov. 20 is National Child Day,” added Campbell. “We should celebrate children every day, but ultimately this is their day.”
For more information on the EC Mapping project, or to see Sylvan Lake results visit www.ecmap.ca.
The 2016 Sylvan Lake and Area National Child Day event will be held at the Sylvan Lake Community Centre on Nov. 18 with preschool age activities planned from 1-3 p.m. and school age activities planned from 3-5 p.m.
About National Child Day
On November 20th, Canada and countries around the world celebrate National Child Day as a reminder of our shared commitment to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).
The CRC is the most comprehensive treaty in support of children. It is signed and ratified by more nations than any other human rights document in history, attesting to its global significance and the underlying universal values it upholds.
National Child Day is celebrated annually to mark two historic events: the 1959 signing of the UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child and the the adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989.
The founding principles of the Convention include:
Acting in the best interests of the child.
Genuinely considering the views of the child in all decision making that affects them.
Ensuring children have the right to primary consideration in all economic, social, and political decisions, policies, programs, and expenditures that impact upon them.
There are many reasons to celebrate children, but most of all because children deserve to be recognized as important members of our community.
All children have the right to an adequate standard of living, health care and to play.
All children have the right to express their views about things that affect them and to participate in communities, programs and services.
All children have the right to be protected from abuse, neglect, exploitation and discrimination.
Many children in Alberta do not have the basics – affordable housing or quality childcare, for example. As a province rich in children, it is important for Albertans to recognize National Child Day. As a community, we are able to have the most direct positive impact on the lives of children. National Child Day is an opportunity we cannot afford to miss to engage our community as a whole about these key issues and their implications. For more information visit www.nationalchildday.ca.