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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Pink Ribbon Project...Tickets on Sale Now!!

Please join us for A Night Out support of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Brooks Campus- Medicine Hat College

Drinks. Dinner. Live Music & DJ

6:30pm Cocktails &  Music by The Wine Soaked Preachers

8:00 Dinner. Followed by DJ & Raffles

The Pink Ribbon Project is a gala event .....  from the d├ęcor to the service, from the prizes to the entertainment, this will be a social gathering that your friends, colleagues and clients will want to be a part of!  A good time, for a good cause!

$65.00 per person
Tables of 8 or 4 available
Tickets are limited - Get yours today by calling 501-0019.

* Drive Home Service courtesy of the Brooks Minor Ball Association!
* Cocktail Attire Preferred

Monday, April 14, 2014

Pink Ribbon Project- the Why & the How!

My committee and I have been working hard for the past 6 months on our event, the Pink Ribbon Project that will be held later this spring and will benefit the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. I wanted to take a few minutes to share with you some of the background behind our project. Most importantly the why & the how but I will throw in the; who, what, when & where for good measure!

 As a side note to help you out as you read this post, some of you may not be aware that Jody – who is the founder of BELA and my business partner, is also my Mom ! So as you read it you will understand why I am so passionate about this event and why it is of the utmost importance to me!

The Why….

Jody Rutherford, the founder of BELA and our Director of Education & Programming is facing her second battle with Breast Cancer. Jody ‘s passion for Early Childhood Education is the driving force behind BELA and has allowed our team to provide support and vital services to the children of Brooks and Area.  Jody and her diagnosis were the first “why” behind this event!   And we have added more  along the way…other Moms, sisters & friends that have been impacted by breast cancer. Its time for us to show our support to Jody, to other women we know & love and to the Breast Cancer Foundation by generating monies to go towards research and prevention of this disease. Through this event, we can show Jody and other women in our community  that we are behind them, that we will be there to support them, by supporting the Foundation in the important work that they do, towards creating a future without breast cancer.

For me, my mom’s diagnosis arrived much like how the main at a fine dining restaurant arrives on your plate. The different components of the dish intricately layered upon each other in an unexpected and complex fashion. In this case, fear upon denial, upon anger, upon science & statistics.  Watching each member of my family & most importantly my Mom experience this dish in their own way has been both heartbreaking and humbling. For me, this is not a  balanced dish, it's much too bitter and is not something I want to experience again.  For me, it can only be tempered by the beauty of a delicate little side dish called hope!

The How……

I needed to use that little bit of hope to push myself forward and to push the fear down. To find a way to try to help my Mom and to help others. My sisters and I put together a committee to work on the event and didn’t need to look far to find people who like us, are driven to try to make a difference.  I won’t speak for the committee, as I know you will find them at the event and will allow them to share their motivation & experience for themselves! But I will say that their vision, hard work and dedication are unmatched! I appreciate them more than I can say.  

Once we had our committee in place we needed to get the ball rolling on just how to make this vision a reality! The groundwork was of course already in place, as BELA was incorporated as both a non-profit organization and a registered charity in 2011 under the umbrella of the Brooks Community Enrichment Foundation. While our organization is dedicated to enriching the lives of children and families in Brooks and area by providing innovative preschool programming, we also have a mandate that turns our focus to supporting other charities that are family centered and / or wellness related. We strive to support causes that are important to our students, their families and to the members of our board. So we of course turned our focus to creating an event that would both, raise funds for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation as well as show our love & support to my Mom and other women in our community. 

First and foremost was to gain the approval of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. They have been a wonderful resource and support for us along the way! Because BELA is a charity, we are able to act as a third party fundraiser for the foundation, with the proceeds of our event going to them. We hope to make them proud!

We would not be able to host this event without the support of our sponsors! Some of the sponsors that have come on board are dear friends of the committee and we could not be more grateful.  Sponsor dollars allow us to cover the expenses associated with the hosting the event and then we are able to put the maximum amount of revenue towards our final donation.

So now you know the why & the how! I promised to throw in the rest and so here is what I can tell you so far!

The Who, the What, the When & Where….

The Pink Ribbon Project…..A Night Out in support of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.

Please join us if you want to have an amazing night out with your friends, family or coworkers! Make a difference while experiencing this one of a kind event!

Drinks. Dinner. Music. Entertainment. Raffle Prizes & More.

Saturday, June 21 at the Brooks Campus- Medicine Hat College

Tickets go in sale in just a few short weeks and we will share more exciting details with the ticket information on May 1. Watch for it here on the blog as well as on our website, Facebook & Twitter!

- CP

Monday, April 7, 2014

"Momma, Whole Face Listen!" - a post by Jody Rutherford, our Director of Education & Programming

Several years ago, a cartoon was circulating about a little girl who had grabbed her mother's chin and demanded "Momma, whole face listen!" in order to get her mother to stop what she was doing, look at her, and really listen. Unfortunately, this tendency towards multi-tasking, and not really listening to young children, and even adults, is becoming far too common, and is increasing as a result of the prevalence of technology, via hand held devices.

Recently, while out for dinner one evening, I had the 'opportunity' to observe a young Dad out for dinner with his daughter, who was probably five or six years old. When they were seated a few tables away, Dad was facing my table, and immediately began checking messages, answering texts or emails, and answered several phone calls, all while the waitress took their order (which he did by pointing to items on the menu), and their dinner was served, and eaten.  Meanwhile, the little girl colored her coloring sheet, ate her dinner, while attempting several times to have a conversation with her father, who held his hand up to silence her, and motioned her to eat or color.  Left to her own devices, the little girl began to rip open sugar packets and spread them around, climb off and on her chair, leave the table to go to the washroom, and finally knocked her drink over and broke the glass. At that point, Dad, motioned for the check and they left the restaurant.  As they passed our table, Dad was heard to say, 'Well,  I'm never taking you out for dinner again, if that's the way you are going to behave!'   I wanted to follow them out to the parking lot and tell Dad that perhaps he was the one who shouldn't get to go out to dinner again, if that's the way he behaves.

Recently, Global News, shared a story "Are Smart-phones to blame for distracted Parenting?" describing a study conducted by Boston Medical Centre researchers, in 15 Boston restaurants, studying the interaction between 55 families during their meals. Of these families, 40 of them had mobile devices on the table, and 16 of the parents used their phones the entire meal, with children from infants to age ten.  During the video, several parents were seen to motion their child away, and one parent even kicked her child under the table, while engaged with a hand held device   Dr. Radesky says she isn't telling parents to stop using their phones by any means, but emphasizes we need to create boundaries for the devices when we are with children. The study authors stress that face-to-face interaction is how bonds are formed between children and their parents,  through speaking, touching and interacting.

Research on the effects of technology, or the newly coined phrase 'absent presence'  and the development of young children is scarce, as it is a  relatively new phenomena.  However, Dr. Deborah Fallows, and others, have asked the question-' Does the time adults spend with their mobile devices affect the way young children learn language?' She states, a 2009 pediatrics publication showed, ' children's language abilities and eventual academic success are linked to the sheer volume of words they are exposed to early on...the quality of the linguistic exposure, not just it's quantity, matters.'  Further she adds, ' parents talking to their babies, playing with trucks and dolls, and making toy sounds is the critical ingredient for their child's language learning. There is no replacement for social-interaction.'  Dr. Fallows quotes Dimitri Christakis, 'You can only do one thing at a time:talk to the baby or talk on the phone.'

Deborah Joyce, Executive Director of the Family Resource Association,  Kristin Zolten, and Nicholas Long from the Center for Effective Parenting, share a similar message regarding how essential: making eye contact; stopping what you are doing; actively listening; and acknowledging that you have heard; are, to giving young children (and adults) the message that you are there for them, are interested in what they have to say, and you value them as a person. This interaction increases not only communication skills, but develops self confidence in our children  In essence, when we 'whole face talk', we are telling our children we love them and care about them!

Papa, Don't Text: the Perils of Distracted Parenting, June 19, 2013, D. Fallows

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Photo Blog-Healthy Active Learners

As a part of this theme- Healthy Active Learners our students have been spending time learning about ways to stay healthy! Making nutritious food choices, taking good care of our teeth and much more. Here are a few photos of some of our students learning through play and acting out the roles of Dentist, patient, Chef & more!