Timmins BBQ helps students prep for school
What’s the best way to get children and youth excited about returning to school?
The answer, according to the Timmins Native Friendship Centre (TNFC), is to kick off the school year with a family friendly carnival and barbeque, where the community can share in a variety of activities and food and ensuring children have most of the necessary back-to-school supplies they need.
Over 100 registered clients of the TNFC attended the annual barbeque the last week of August.
At the barbeque over 150 backpacks filled with grade-appropriate supplies were given out to youth by the TNFC in partnership with the Cochrane District Social Services and Five Nations Energy.
This year a few high school students received zippered binders filled with the necessary pens, pencils, paper and supplies.
The program started eight years ago to ensure children and youth were well prepared for the new academic year. In order to receive a backpack a person needs to be a registered client of TNFC.
Stephanie Williams a support worker of the TNFC explained the centre tries to help alleviate the cost of families on fixed incomes and who have tight budgets.
“We hold the event to help families and kids go back to school with most of what they need,” she said.
With the grand opening of the new TNFC building, the centre has a lot more space enabling organizers to host a mini barbeque carnival. “This year we had inflatable laser tag, a rock wall and bouncers. We hosted activities for two hours before we had the barbeque and started handing out the backpacks,” she said.
“The kids were pretty excited. They really enjoyed the little carnival crew that came in. It was something different than what they were used to and it was really nice to see them smiling and having fun,” she said.
For children settling back into school Williams offered this advice: “Stay in school and stay safe. Attend classes daily and pay attention. Respect your teachers, parents and peers and do your homework.”
Families who would like more support services can register for an age specific program with the TNFC. If a family is an active client they can register to receive a backpack next year and participate in parent support, child bonding, cultural, child nutrition and parenting classes throughout the year.
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