Ready, Set, Learn is a provincial program that takes place annually. In Port Alberni, it was held at Neill Elementary School this year, with an attendance of 85 adults and 112 children on Saturday, Nov. 2.
Each community chooses their own way of celebrating, said Katherin Charbonneau, Early Years Navigator for School District 70. In Port Alberni, the school district has partnered with many community groups including Port Alberni Friendship Center, Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council Children and Youth Services, PAACL Infant Development Program, Literacy Alberni, Island Health, PacificCARE Child Care Resource & Referral and Alberni Valley Community School.
To put on an event of this calibre, it takes a lot of support from the community, said Charbonneau, and she thanked all the community partners and School District educators for their support in planning, set up and being present at the event to connect with the children and families.
The Port Alberni Friendship Center provided wholesome snacks for the children as a fundraiser for their cultural events.
The nature-based play explorations that were set up for the event were based on the social and emotional focused book by Theresa “Corky” Larsen-Jonasson called, “The Circle of Caring and Sharing.”
“We are giving a copy of this book to each family that attends,” said Charbonneau. “We have primary educators and early care and learning professionals present to build relationships with children and families and to answer any questions that families have about their child’s well-being or about their upcoming school journey. When it is time to go school, the hope is that they will feel more confident.”