Acton Kindergarten Fun Fair 2018

By Alison Hilborn, Our Kids Network Acton Community Hub Coordinator

Once again, our Acton Kindergarten Fun Fair on Wednesday, August 29, was a big success!

Acton Family Fair 2018

The question is… How do we measure success? Well…

    • It didn’t rain.
    • Approximately 280 people participated.
    • Approximately 80 activity bags and t-shirts were given to children going into junior kindergarten.
    • Agency representatives all said that they were very, very busy talking to and sharing information with the fair-goers.
    • We receive tremendous support from our community for this event:
    • Thank you to…
      • MapleLodge Farms, Halton Hills Fire Department, Halton Police, First Student Bus Service who supported the fair with donations and their time.
      • Rotary Club of Acton, who were on the grill for us again this year.
      • Town of Halton Hills for waiving the fees for the park and the benches.
      • McKenzie-Smith Bennett, Robert Little and St. Joseph’s Catholic school and their parent councils for providing financial support and support in general for all of our activities. We could not do this without you!
      • All our amazing volunteers for all of your help!!
    • And finally…
      • I heard the same phrase again and again: “We’re a well-oiled machine!” The event was set up with tons of time to spare and the take-down was just as efficient.

     

Please take some time to get the details of the day and look at the great pictures here.

 

Putting Research and Relationships in Action to Help Kids Thrive in 2017

A wrap up of some of this year’s successes, challenges and what we’re planning for the future. These are just a few of the exciting ways that collective action takes place in Halton! Much more information to discover in our 2017 Collective Impact Report

 

By Beth Williams, Our Kids Network Communications Manager

A Generation of Children…
We announced that a generation of children have now completed all surveys through three data cycles. This means is children who are now in their teens were assessed through the Early Development Instrument (EDI) in 2006. They completed all surveys through three data cycles between 2006 and 2015 and represent our first generation of children who have completed every assessment or survey in the full OKN data cycle.

OKN is challenged:
with engaging professionals who plan services and supports and make decisions, to use this incredibly important research to collaborate and plan services and supports for kids and families.

In the near future:
Halton is the first community to develop a unique partnership with the Learning Bar to analyze and report the Tell Them From Me (TTFM) and OurSCHOOL Survey data at the community level. OKN researchers are currently analyzing data from 2015/16, representing 18,047 students in Grades 4 to 6 and 9 to 12. The data represent important aspects of youth experiences such as friendships, health and wellness and life in school. Our Kids Network plans to release a report on this data early in the New Year.

EXPLORE! DISCOVER! KNOW! www.ourkidsnetwork.ca
We launched our new website featuring four categories of knowledge: Our Community, Working Together, Building Relationships, Our Research,  with 238 resources for professionals.

OKN is challenged:
to surpass the 20,000 page views since March 2017 and continually refresh and expand the site.

In the future:
OKN will explore e-learning options and technology.

Asset-Building is hotter than ever in Halton!
The numbers said it all:
More than 200 youth received developmental assets presentations
19 meetings hosted for community planning and coordination with 198 different professionals
10 organizations trained in the Asset-Building Toolkit
103 professionals attended the Asset-Building Forum in April
Over 5000 professionals attended “Everyone’s An Asset-Builder” workshops
Approximately 139 diverse professionals are Asset-Building Champions (and belong to the Asset-Building Network)

OKN is challenged:
to “move the movement” towards the Developmental Relationships framework.

In the near future:
Watch for the new Relationships First workshops in early 2017!

Local Impact: Youth Voices Matter: North Oakville Youth Development Council

Youth Voices

A group of teens is changing their community by reaching out with their ideas and opinions!

OKN is challenged:
to ensure their voices are heard and respected and that their ideas get implemented.

In the future:
OKN will continue to find opportunities to advance the OKN Youth Policy of “For Youth – With Youth – By Youth”.

Local Impact: OKN Early Years Initiative
The OKN Early Years Initiative is working in six neighbourhoods using a collective impact process of involving a dedicated community-wide group of organizations. Each of these six community tables will respond to research (Early Development Instrument) that indicates young children are not meeting developmental milestones needed do well in school. The Early Years Initiative will utilize EDI scores and local experiences to engage community members, and inspire and support action.

OKN is challenged:
to work together with local professionals to lay the foundation for sustained and meaningful practice and programs in these communities.

In the future:
Keep watching for the long-term results of this important work.

Acton Kindergarten Fun Fair 2017

Kids have Fun while  Parents Learn about Early Child Development

By Alison Hilborn, Our Kids Network Acton Community Hub Coordinator

The Acton Early Years Committee just celebrated the 3rd Annual Acton Kindergarten Fun Fair at Prospect Park on Wednesday, August 30th. There were free hot dogs, fun activities, early year’s resources and t-shirts for the children! Over 270 people attended and the weather held out for us. It was great to see the all the children wearing shirts with “I’m an awesome Acton Kid” printed on the front and a list of helpful resources for families on the back.

This event is designed to be a ‘community welcome’ to Acton families who have children going into Kindergarten for the first time. A convenient, central location like Prospect Park makes it easy for families to attend.

We want them to know that all the elementary schools in Acton are working together by supporting our event each year. Each school hung a banner in the band shell with fun props so families could take their child’s picture with their new school’s banner behind them.

This event is also a response to the concerning number of children going into Kindergarten with one or more vulnerabilities according to the latest Early Development Instrument results. For example, one of the highest vulnerabilities is in the area of fine and gross motor skills. That’s one reason we offer so many active activities at our Fun Fair – to help increase awareness of the importance of early child development, particularly in the area of fine and gross motor skills, among our families.


“Awesome Acton” kids had lots of fun as they tried out games and activities designed to build the fine and gross motor skills that will help them be better prepared to start Kindergarten.


The Acton Early Years Committee and our partners really want to decrease the EDI number significantly but it’s going to take time and lots of hard work, especially when it comes to reaching parents with preschool children. On a positive note, the committee is well represented by organizations that are focused on early child development, so Acton is in good hands. We’re a strong team and we work hard on behalf of Acton families. The Acton Fun Fair is just one of the ways that we support children and their families.

To learn more about the Acton Early Years Committee, contact Alison Hilborn at actonhub@ourkidsnetwork.ca.

To learn more about the Acton Hub:

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