December 2017
Welcome to our Winter Issue
As this year ends, we take time to reflect on all we accomplished throughout the year, and envision all the possibilities that come with a new year.
 
Throughout the year, we have continued to build lasting connections with community partners and welcomed many returning and new children, families and volunteers, each of whom have brought new learnings and laughter to our Centre. 
 
As 2018 approaches, we set our sights, in anticipation, on the coming year. We will continue to provide opportunities to connect with others through our Centre programs including the Drop In and Play,
Parenting Courses ( check out our Winter-Spring schedule), Talk 2 Me services, and our Dads events and activities.

We also look forward to our other upcoming activities and events including rebranding our Ontario Early Years Centre to an EarlyON Centre, our Trivia Night, the Parenting Matters Conference, our Annual Golf Tournament and celebrating Talk 2 Me's twenty year anniversary!

Wishing you all the very best in the New Year and we look forward to growing our connections with each of you and the community in 2018!

On January 27, all across Canada, families will be coming together to celebrate Family Literacy Day! A national awareness initiative created by ABC Life Literacy Canada in 1999, Family Literacy Day raises awareness of the importance of reading and engaging in other literacy-related activities as a family.

Taking time every day to read or do a learning activity with children is crucial to a child’s development, improving a child’s literacy skills dramatically, and can help a parent improve their skills as well.

DID YOU KNOW?
The kitchen is a great place for the whole family to practice literacy. Reading a recipe, measuring ingredients, and even figuring out what you need to buy from the store all use your literacy skills. Practice literacy and test your baking skills with this tasty and power packed fruit and veggie muffin recipe !

To learn more about Family Literacy Day and the different activities you can do with your family to get involved click here .
COME CHECK OUT OUR LOOSE PARTS
WHAT ARE LOOSE PARTS?
Loose parts are materials with no specific set of directions. They can be used alone or together with other materials. They can be moved, carried, combined, redesigned, lined up, taken apart, and put back together in multiple ways. The child, rather than a manufacturer or other adult, determines how the materials are used. 

Loose parts are the opposite of the battery-operated toys that require only that children push a button "to send the toy into an ecstasy of beeping and flashing and tinny music. Such toys do the playing while the child is reduced to the passive role of an audience” (Wilson, 2009, p. 14). 

In fact, children are excluded from play by these moving, flashing toys. When children have access to loose parts, it frees their creativity and imagination to change the world around them in infinite ways.

The more flexible the materials are in their environment, the greater the level of creativity and inventiveness they express.
In his groundbreaking article “How NOT to Cheat Children — The Theory of Loose Parts,” British architect Simon Nicholson writes, "Have you ever noticed that if you leave old junk lying around, kids will almost inevitably play with it? Whether it be old cardboard boxes, wooden pallets, pieces of wood, old tires, bits of rope or string, kids will use their imagination and ingenuity to make something. This may make your garden look like a junkyard sometimes, but the experience for the kids is invaluable and it will keep them occupied for hours. Don’t try and direct the kids in their play, just let them get on with it (Nicholson as cited in Hargreaves, 2012).

Loose parts can be natural or manufactured; and from there, the only limitation is safety, the environment you live in, and the children’s imaginations.
 
At Connections we will be introducing more loose parts in our environment. Come explore them with your children during our Drop In and Play hours .
 
Interested in learning more about loose parts? Take some time to read this great article .
Community Connections
Donations for our 2017 Bearing Up Campaign continue to be received thanks to the support of our generous donors. The funds raised though this campaign will be used to continue to support our programs and services at no cost to the children and families of the Windsor-Essex County community.


We would like to welcome and extend a big thank you to our new volunteers for choosing to give their time and talents to our Centre!
Welcome to:
Marissa Lepera
Nadine Sadik
Roudina Makhlouf
Andrea Brown
Senyon Wang
Yang Chen
Shelby MacDonald
Samantha Marentette
Emma Wawrow
Al-Fadl Osman
Tal Bitar
Yan Wang
Yahan Tan
We are currently in need of volunteers to assist with our child care and Drop In program. These programs are offered Tuesday - Friday mornings (9:30 - 11:30 a.m.), Wednesday and Thursday afternoons (1:00 - 3:30 p.m.) and Tuesday evenings (5:00 - 7:00 p.m.). If you are interested in volunteering please contact the Centre at 519.252.9696 or email info@connectwithus.ca.
A big thank you to the following individuals for their generous contributions to our Centre:
Todd Loughead 
Donald and Marjorie Laughton 
Hebert Financial Group
Kevin Durocher
Shantelle Lovell
Qiyu Wang
Knights of Columbus Belle River Council 2775
Royal Canadian Legion Branch 12
Royal Canadian Legion, Capt. Brien (Ont. No. 201) Branch
Linda Edwards & Steve Martin in memory of Ralph & Ruthanne McNulty

The support you provide our Centre ensures we are able to provide our community with outstanding programs and services.
Upcoming Event
Sunday with Dad
Description:  Significant males in your child's life with children 0-6 years of age, join us for an afternoon of activities in the gym with hula hoops, balls, parachute play, snack and more.
Date: Sunday, December 10
Time: 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Location: Prince Edward Public School, 949 Giles Blvd. E, Windsor ON

There is no cost to attend this event.
To register please call the Centre at 519.252.9696.
SAVE THE DATE!
Parenting Matters Conference
Date: Saturday, April 21
Location: F.J. Brennan High School
Time: 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Workshops include:
Parenting with Confidence
Safety and the Internet
Parenting through Separation & Divorce
Work and Family Balance

To register or for more information please call the Centre at 519.252.9696.

Please Note:
Our Centre will be closed
the following dates:

December 25 - January 1, 2018
Holiday Break
February 19
Family Day
Upcoming Event
Trivia Night
Description:  Join us for a fun, interactive night of trivia, prizes, draws, dinner, and more!
Date: Friday, February 9
Time: 6:00 p.m.
Location: Royal Canadian Legion Branch 143. 1570 Marentette Ave., Windsor ON

Tickets are $20 each.

To purchase your tickets call the Centre at 519.252.9696 or register online .
Upcoming Event
Winter Family Walk at Ojibway Park
Description:  Join us for a guided tour of Ojibway Park plus other fun activities.
Date: Saturday, January 27
Time: 10:00 a.m. - Noon
Location: Ojibway Park, 5200 Matchette Rd, Windsor

There is no cost to attend this event.
To register please call the Centre at 519.252.9696.
Introducing Fundscrip
A unique and easy way that YOU can help support our Centre!

It’s easy! Choose gift cards from participating retailers, and up to 15% of every card purchased is donated back to Connections at no cost to you! Your gift cards retain 100% of their value.

To order, talk to our staff members, or go to www.fundscrip.com, click on “Support a Group” and sign in using our Invitation Code - F6WXWF .
WEATHER ANNOUNCEMENT
During inclement weather the Centre makes every effort to remain open. However, with the Winter season upon us there may be times that we need to close and services will need to be cancelled or rescheduled. If you are unsure whether a program or appointment you are scheduled to attend is running, please contact the Centre at 519.252.9696 or the Talk 2 Me program at 519.252.0636. You can also stay connected with Centre closures through AM800 and by connecting with us on Facebook and Twitter.
Connect With Us
Connections Early Years Family Centre
www.connectwithus.ca | info@connectwithus.ca |Phone: 519.252.9696
Connections Early Years Family Centre is a
progressive family-centered organization
providing integrated support, learning and
early identification/intervention services
to advance the healthy development of
families and their children o-6 years of age
in Windsor-Essex County.