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Family Centre numbers steady two months into programming

Friday will mark two months since the Envision First Innisfail Family Centre opened its doors to the public and community facilitator Heather Dixon said the numbers of participants have been exceeding expectations. “It's been amazing,” she said.

Friday will mark two months since the Envision First Innisfail Family Centre opened its doors to the public and community facilitator Heather Dixon said the numbers of participants have been exceeding expectations.

“It's been amazing,” she said. “We have 23 families that are so far regular attendees to our different programs,” she said adding that two weeks ago when the Innisfail fire chief stopped by to demonstrate some fire safety tips the centre, located in the Dr. George/Kemp house, held the most numbers so far with 14 adults and 24 children.

The centre is part of a five-year province wide Early Childhood Development Mapping Project meant to map early child development. It's funded by Alberta Education and headed by the Community-University Partnership at the University of Alberta.

The Innisfail chapter is running a pilot project year offering programs for children zero to five and also providing information and resources to parents.

The groups intent is to offer educational programming, development screening, parenting courses, resources and referral services to strengthen the development of young children. Programs offered are meant to focus on five areas needed for school readiness including physical health and wellbeing, social knowledge and competence, emotional health, language and thinking and communication skills.

Currently, the centre is running three programs, all of which are free of cost: The Stay, Play and Learn offered twice on Monday mornings either 9:30 or 11 running for one hour, Jammy Time, a six week program that starts up again tomorrow night at 6:30 for 45 minutes and the Young at Art program.

Dixon said the programs have been a huge success with Jammy Time and Stay, Play and Learn needing pre-registration because they have been filling up.

She also said there will be new programming offered this summer including a park play program supported by the local FCSS that will take children on field trips to different parks.

She said a schedule of the different parks they will touring will be available during the centre's grand opening April 28. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and there will be a barbeque and the Giggle Clowns will attend with a bouncy house and offering face painting and balloon animals.

“I hope people come out to have some fun with their family and learn what we're all about,” she said.

For more information check out the Envision First Children Innisfail group on Facebook.