Submitted by SIRCH
For 30 years SIRCH Community Services has had a mission. As needs in the community become apparent especially gaps and issues affecting those most vulnerable SIRCH often develops and implements programs to help.
One of these gaps was readiness for school. Identified years ago it remains a concern for many parents and teachers.
According to the Haliburton Kawartha Pine Ridge District Health Unit 43.5 per cent of young children in Haliburton County are considered “vulnerable” in at least one area of physical health and well-being social competence emotional maturity language and cognitive development communication skills and general knowledge. This means many children will face challenges in school and the community.
Through School’s Cool SIRCH helps children ages three and four make the transition to school a successful one.
School’s Cool is a six-week kindergarten readiness program created by SIRCH to help children succeed in school and in life. In summer 2019 30 children increased their developmental skills (language math psychological social and self-help) by over one year in the six short weeks! School’s Cool is perfect for children entering kindergarten or for those who have not done so well in junior kindergarten and need a boost.
“We love the School’s Cool program” said a parent whose child recently participated in School’s Cool. “Our child has learned so much in just a short time.”
“I have watched a few children who rarely spoke at the beginning find their voices and participate in group activities. They are much more self-confident” said Lynn McGillivray a retired kindergarten teacher who volunteered with School’s Cool during summer 2019. “I would recommend the School’s Cool program for any child going into kindergarten. I wish I had known about the program when I was teaching.”
As a non-profit charitable organization SIRCH relies on the financial contributions of individuals and local businesses to help accomplish its mission. Each fall SIRCH launches Gifts from the Heart as its community fundraiser.
“This is the eighth year of SIRCH’s Gifts from the Heart campaign” said SIRCH board president Barbara Fawcett. “While the campaign has evolved and grown over that time ultimately it’s about supporting a local organization that works in the local community for the betterment of local residents.”
Donating to Gifts from the Heart enables SIRCH to provide effective programs such as School’s Cool.
To contribute to this year’s Gifts from the Heart campaign visit www.sirch.on.ca/gifts or phone 705-457-1742. You can also visit SIRCH’s offices Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. located at 49 Maple Avenue unit 4 Haliburton to make a donation in person.