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Step-Up News: 
August 16th, 2020

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HARVEST TIME!  HARVEST TIME!  How does your garden grow?
Colorful Flowers

Are you more patient?  What things have you done that have helped others in your homes?  How have you changed?  What new things have you learned?  Who has helped you to grow?  How has your garden grown?


Thank you for ‘Being the Best You Can Be!’  Thank you for being YOU!  We think about you and are always here to help you grow!  Thank you for helping us grow, too!


For the Prep to Step-Up Team,  Doreen McCall


Isn’t it amazing how a little seed can grow into so many beautiful foods for us to eat?

When you first place it into the dark soil, don’t you wonder, “How does this little seed turn into a carrot, or a vine of peas or a peach tree?”



The little seed wants to grow.  It wants to change.  It reaches out for the warmth in the sun and the food in the rain to help it grow.  It needs us, too!  When the rain doesn’t come, we water it. When there are too many weeds, we look after the home around it and take the weeds away.  It is fun to watch the little seed poke through the dark earth, raise its little head to face you and say, “Here I am!  Watch me grow! I want to change!”

Most of us planted the little seeds in our gardens just before Covid-19 began.  We have grown, too!  It has been about 5 months since the world around us has changed.  We have found new ways to grow, new ways to help each other and new plans in our days to help ourselves feel OK!  We have felt disappointed, sometimes sad and maybe frustrated.  We have faced changes in our lives.  We have poked our heads up to learn new things that help us say, “I’m still here! I want to change! Watch me grow!”

Just like the little seed needs the sun and the rain to grow, we can be grateful for the friends and families around us to help us grow, too!  Many of you have grown gardens this year.  By working together in your home gardens, you have cheered on the little seeds to change and become what they were meant to be; wonderful food for you and your family!  You may have been seeing or eating the rewards already!  Beautiful flowers smiling at you or a ripe red tomato looking up to say, ”I’m ready! Eat me!” are all the results of how you helped them to grow.  Growing a garden helps us to grow, too!  Helping people around us to cope with COVID-19 helps us to cope, too!

We have become more patient, more kind, more helpful, more Mindful.  We have been brave enough to reach out, to be willing to change and to grow into the best we can be!

Covid-19 has given us challenges but we can still look at those challenges and say, “I am able.  I can ask questions.  I can learn.  I can Step-Up and grow!  I will be OK!”


For the next newsletter on September 12th, I welcome you to write about some of the ways you’ve felt yourself grow.  You can also choose to share photos if you’d rather not write about it.


A Note to Families

Officially, Prep to Step-Up is taking a pause with its program until possibly re-opening in January.  An emailed announcement was sent out July 31st. If I didn’t chat with you over the following week, (I believe I only missed 4 directly) please feel comfortable to contact me for discussion.

In an effort to support our Clients and their families at home, Staff have been tossing around ideas regarding a Home Workbook Program. This would encourage Clients some practice at Reading, Math and Science/Geography complimented by tutorials in Art and Mindfulness Skills for 20-30 minutes of online support, twice a month. We are currently brain storming the possibility of putting this together. Before we spend time designing and working on assembling a workbook at 3 levels of ability, we need to know how many families might be interested, are comfortable with online technology on their devices and are willing to assist Clients in attending the hands-on workbook a few times a week. There would be a small fee for this program.

In this edition of the newsletter we have created a ‘Learning at Home’ bulletin filled with a variety of learning opportunities that can be completed at home. As Clients already anticipate receiving the newsletter each month, this might be a compromise, again complimented by a once-a-month virtual  “Let’s Check-In!” with each Client for conversation and social interaction. There is no fee for this as it eliminates the home workbook.

We’d appreciate you taking a moment to send a quick message on what kind of support you’d prefer. Once we have the numbers, we can evaluate what we can offer.

We appreciate your patience and resilience during these challenging times and are here for you, proactively, if we can be of any support. Please re-visit our newsletters on our website for other websites on updated information on COVID-19.

Contact us at:, or call 905-699-2269

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Here are a couple pictures based on a couple past still life paintings that involve food such as apples and squashes.


Every time I look at these paintings I've done, I always think of a certain colour in the food as part of the Harvest Time which is Harvest Red that contains vegetables and fruits (apple and squashes I've painted) with scarlet to crimson hues highlighted with a wide array of phytochemicals that make them red.


Hope you enjoy!




Hi Everyone!


Nothing new to report from me; lots of walking, virtual piano teaching and yoga! I’ve been excited to watch the sports that have been starting up again. Unfortunately, the Leaf’s season didn’t end the way we would have liked, but I know lots of you will be following the Blue Jays and Raptors as their seasons continue.


I have included some links to Blue Jays printable colouring pages; maybe some fun bedroom decorations to help cheer them on?!


Have fun!




The positive to come out of all of this is being able to watch other things grow around you, even if you do not feel like you are growing during these difficult times. Step outside and see how much has changed in nature since March, the grass is greener, the flowers are brighter, the air is warmer! The changes are small but every day is just one step at a time! Hope you all are well!  


Take care! 



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Hello everyone! It is good to focus on the positive especially during this time. There has been some positivity produced in the garden at my house and in my own life. 


I have also noticed the positive changes on my walks from March until now in August. In March, everything was darker and there was no grass or flowers. As the months went on, new signs of nature popped up on the ground and in the trees. It is comforting knowing that the cold winters and rainy springs lead to beautiful summer flowers!


Something I struggled with during this pandemic is eating healthy, so I decided to start growing some of my own food in the garden. I have been growing cherry tomatoes, and I have been putting the effort into watering them every day and patiently watching them grow, and turn from green to red when they ripen. I am very proud of this growth - it has helped me become more consistent with a routine, be more mindful, eat healthier, and feel better overall.



One of the “gardens” I have been maintaining is that of my dog, Stripe. We brought him home as a small helpless puppy this spring and we have watched him grow with all the nature around us. Like the flowers growing and blooming he has bloomed into a young adult, who is growing not only in size but also in character. We are starting training classes with him to further his skills, and he goes to doggy day care to socialize with other dogs. I have attached a photo of him wearing his sunflower collar to remind us that any tough times (like him being neutered or us going through these small obstacles) will pass.


Here is a picture of my tomato garden! Some tomatoes are ripe and red, and some are still green. Plus, they taste delicious!




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Music Videos


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Harry - Support for Everyone!.JPG
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Word Search

You can also find this word search online:


Using a spare notebook, answer the following questions.  Use the Who, What, When, Where, How and Why to help you.


1. WHO wrote this book?

2. WHAT animals are in this story?

3. WHEN does the movie come out?

4. WHERE do Ivan and his friends live?

5. HOW does Ivan make a living?

6. WHY is Ivan ‘the one and only’?

Listen to the song here:



For each letter in this word, print 3 new words starting with the same letter.  


Example:  “M”    


Mix   Me   Mind

Art with Anne

Another month has gone by.  I hope everyone is well and managing to stay safe. Masks are now mandatory in public places.


I found this art/craft idea that looks like a fun way to illustrate you in a mask.

Let’s Draw Comics with Tory      


Materials Needed: Drawing Paper, Pencil

I’d love to see photos of some you’ve done in the next newsletter.


Love to all, Anne


The One and Only Ivan


This book was written by Katherine Applegate in 2012.


It just opened as a full-length movie by Walt Disney Pictures on Aug. 12th, 2020 in France and Aug. 21st here in Canada.


It is a story based on true life events about a silver-backed gorilla named Ivan.  He is ‘the one and only’ Ivan because he is an artist who paints.  He makes his living by selling his paintings.  


Together with an elephant named Stella, a baby elephant named Ruby and their friend Bob, the dog, they try to piece their pasts together to escape their home at The Big Top Shopping Mall.  It is a story of change, of growing and of possibility for freedom to live as they truly want to be!

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