top of page

Step-Up News: 
June 12th, 2021

butterfly with no bottom background.png
Summer Sighs and Strawberries

In 1957 my father bought his first car;  a lemon-yellow Chevrolet Sedan.   People thought it was really something but all I could think of was where was it going to take me !  It changed my summers forever !


Looking forward to a summer in Montreal we knew there would be 5-cent popsicles on the porch,  strapping on our roller skates to venture farther down the streets, playing marbles in the dirt and learning how to whistle.  No matter the heat we would stay outside playing from morning until the call for supper. 


No camps or parks or sports fields (maybe for the boys but I never heard them talking about it); no pools, no fields to gather flowers and no trips away.  It was as it was for everyone and it was fine !  If you didn’t have someone to play with you played on your own and that was fine ! But when the car arrived, that changed everything !  Big sigh !

Now there were adventures away from our street.  Counting telephone poles for the first time, stopping at traffic lights, watching people being busy and walking fast;  excited, then delighted by whatever came around the next corner !  It was all new.  The things I saw gave me goose-bumps and then I’d feel the acceleration of wanting to learn more about what I saw.

There was no air conditioning in the car.  Not at home either. Summers were HOT !   You had to remember to wriggle your legs every once in a while to make sure they didn’t stick to the vinyl seats ! 

Now there were roadside picnics, my first introduction to  canned pop and potato salad with egg salad sandwiches.  It was a little strange sitting at a picnic table at the side of the  road but there was a stillness and a feeling of family as we sat and laughed between bites.  In those days, fathers were not home very much so it all felt good to understand the feeling of doing something all together.  Sigh.

The car also brought summer visitors.  My grandparents visited from Scotland.  With the car we were able to take our first family trip from Montreal to Niagara Falls.  I will never forget my Grandpa sitting on the grass facing the falls and biting into a large, juicy peach, grinning from ear to ear with juice dripping from his chin and saying, “Now, that’s perfect !”  They didn’t grow peaches, pears and grapes in Scotland so they  didn’t get too much fresh fruit like we have in Niagara.  Looking at him in such bliss and contentment I shivered a little with how grateful I should remember to be to have such fruit on our table every day of the summer.  And I sighed.

Other summers brought lake beaches and driving through thunderstorms bouncing around the Laurentian Mountains but I will never forget the adventures that yellow car added to my
summers.  Sigh !

Summer to me always begins with strawberries.  Strawberries with ice cream, strawberry shortcake or just a bowl of freshly picked strawberries ! The juiciness, the colour, the scent and the taste ……. Yes !  We can both sigh together !  Picking strawberries is a highlight !  I loved introducing this activity to my children for the first time, laughing at them as they picked with careful chubby fingers and saying, “One for the basket.  One for my me.”  Loved those days.  Sigh !


June 20th is the Summer Solstice or First Day of Summer.  The word solstice comes from the Latin words sol, sun and sticillum, to stand still.  It is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere when the sun reaches the highest point in the sky.  In the Southern Hemisphere this date begins the first day of winter.

On June 24th watch for the Strawberry Moon or the full moon.  There will also be many summer stars to look up at throughout the summer.  If you are at camp or the cottage, look up and sigh !

Our summers may be hot and humid but they are ours to enjoy in all the ways we look forward to as the summers we know and love.

We wish you lots of happy memories so that you can share them with others, too.  Enjoy the camps, the walks in the fields picking flowers, the pools and the fruit - fresh, juicy, colourful fruit.  Oh !  And don’t forget the popsicles !  When I have one, I’ll think of you !
                                                ~~ Doreen

Dates to Mark on Your Calendar

June 20  -    Father’s Day
June 20  -    First Day of Summer
June 21  -   National Indigenous Day
July  1  -   Canada Day
August 2   -   Civic Holiday Canada
August 14  -   Next Newsletter
September 6  -   Labour Day


Next Newsletter August 14th

No newsletter in July


Submissions Reports Due August 12th.

Photos welcomed.

We look forward to seeing all your Summer Photos and Stories.


Prep at Home Workbook Program

September 15th to November 25th.

Registration begins August 11th.

Cost - $500.00

Happy Birthday Wishes

Lorne - July 1st


E.J. - July 18th

Adam - August 3rd

summer time.jpg

Prep at Home Workbook Program Participants - CONGRATULATIONS!

To all the Clients who have finished a year of the Prep at Home Workbook Program,  a great big bursting Congratulations !  Your excitement in being involved has brought you all through some difficult challenges !  How Brave you are !  We are so proud of you !  As we said in the beginning, we have done this together, backed by the strength from the Prep to Step-Up Circle !




We have loved connecting with you on Zoom and had a lot of fun visiting with you !  You have supported us getting through the same challenges.  Thank You ! 

We hope you feel proud !  You have learned new skills !  Had the will to gain more independence !  Learned new things !



Congratulations to the Clients that completed this pioneer program !  You truly made every effort ‘To Be the Best You Could Be !’

Your Prep at Home Educators,
Doreen, Kristen, Anne, Erica, Cassandra and Aleksa

From the Prep Circle

WORLD OCEAN DAY - June 8, 2021

ACelebration of the life of Eric Carle

“I believe readers are naturally creative to learn.
  I want to show them that learning is really

     both fascinating and fun !”                                                          


We can all remember the books that Eric Carle has written for us.  Of the 70 that he wrote, what is your favourite ?

Born in New York but educated in Germany, he became a Graphic Artist with the New York Times in 1952.  The artwork in his books is created in collage technique with hand-painted papers layered in the familiar forms we are so used to seeing.

One of the most familiar of his books written in 1969, The Very Hungry Caterpillar has been published in 66 languages and shared around the World.  There have been more than 152 million copies of his books distributed. 

It may be sad that we have lost such a wonderful man who gave us so much respect for us in our love to learn but you can remember the fun he shared in all the books he left us.  He wanted to make his work playful and said of his books, ‘ It’s a book you can play with, and a toy you can read.’  - From

Some of his books are shown below.  Perhaps you might see one of your favourites among them and decide to read it again.

IMG_0152 (3).JPG

Greetings everyone,

Hope you all have been living strong and healthy throughout the past months! Especially with Spring around, there's no better way than to have a snug of warmth from the shining sun to make your soul smile!

Spring is always a good time for new baby nature animals being born (ducklings, bunnies and others), enjoying Spring equinox which means longer days and shorter nights, and spring rewards our waiting with colourful dazzling flowers that are popping up everywhere you go.

That's why I've been working on this new painting of a coral hibiscus flower that helps to symbolize almost everyone's favorite season of spring! Plus, the other painting portrait of a giraffe is said be signs of success, happiness, interesting opportunities, something unexpected that is likely to happen in your near future (especially once the pandemic is over).

Thank you all and best of wishes again,


‘I could never stay long enough on the shore; the tang of the untainted fresh and free sea air was like a cool, quieting thought, and the shells, pebbles and seaweed with tiny living creatures attached to it never lost their fascination for me.’    ~~ Helen Keller

Watch and Listen to the videos below to respect our oceans.  Every second breath we take, is one we breathe from the ocean that gave it to us.


Word Search


The Most Relaxing Waves Ever - Ocean Sounds to Sleep, Study and Chill


Here is another Mindfulness Tool to help soothe your anxieties or stress at any time of the day.  Listen and Breathe with the waves going in and out. 

Great for going to sleep !

Ocean Craft

jf craft.jpg

Prep to Step-Up proved we “NEVER IGNORE A POSSIBLE!” by creating the PTSU Workbook Program.  In Literacy, Math, Geography, Science and Art, Clients discovered that learning at home can be challenging and fun. 

Zoom Visits have been a wonderful experience getting to know each other better.

Thank you everyone who shared time with me.  Have a fantastic summer !  Stay safe !  Love to you all, Anne

bottom of page