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Training Wheels program celebrating 15th anniversary in Springdale

Outreach worker Erica Chatman, left, spends some time with Maria and Maci, and their mom, Stephanie Butt at the Training Wheels Family Resource Centre in Springdale.
Outreach worker Erica Chatman, left, spends some time with Maria and Maci, and their mom, Stephanie Butt at the Training Wheels Family Resource Centre in Springdale.

SPRINGDALE, NL - Training Wheels Family Resource Centre is inviting former and current families, staff and volunteers to its 15th anniversary celebrations in Springdale Oct. 11.  

The farmed-themed event will include animals from Jigg's Farm and some local farm animals of former participants. There will also be a free barbecue, games, prizes and other barnyard fun for all.

Funded by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, the beloved character Peppa Pig will also make an appearance, according to Erica Chatman, outreach worker at the centre.

Training Wheels provides programming and social opportunities for families with children aged newborn to six years. Programs are offered in five locations - Robert's Arm, Triton, South Brook, King's Point and Springdale.

As an outreach worker, Chatman covers all five locations. Training Wheels now reaches over 100 families, she said, with eight to 10 programs offered at each location every week.

"We encourage parent and child interaction," she said. "We have playground activities, story time, craft time. We have seasonal themed events, and we offer free snacks with all of our activities."

The centre's outreach programs include a backpack program and home visits/play dates.

"We bring the programs to children who aren't able to get out to our programs."

Stephanie Butt of Springdale started participating in Training Wheels programs when she was pregnant with her first child. Maci is now three years old. Her sister Maria is one.

Butt takes her children to the centre about three times a week.

"I like coming here because it gets the children out of the house to see their friends," she said. "They can play with different toys than they have at home. And they enjoy all the workers here because they are great with the kids."

Developing skills

Whether reading a story or making a craft, the programs help children develop many skills, including listening, according to Butt.

In addition to the activities in and around the centre, she said the children love going on field trips to places in the community such as the Valley Vista Seniors Home and the police and fire stations.

With a focus on parent and child interaction, the centre is just as important to the parent as it is the child.

"It's great socialization for us parents," Butt said. "Just to get out to talk to other parents, to see that they are going through the same things you are really helps."

Anyone who has been associated with Training Wheels over the years is invited to the celebration from 3:30-5:30 p.m. at 83 Little Bay Road (former college building). New participants are also welcome.  

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