May 11th, 2019
It's all about "heart"!
“When you listen with your heart,
The story of the people you support becomes your story.”
~ Jean Vanier ~
WOW!! There were so many inspiring stories shared at Prep to Step-Up recently!
Each of us has the right to tell our own story. Each of us has the right to listen to the stories of others. When we share and listen, we can gain a better understanding and learn from each other how to support who we are and how we want to take the next step with each other. At Prep to Step-Up it is the heart in every story that we learn and build from to contribute to a community of confidence, understanding, and always the next ‘Step’!
Every day at Prep to Step-Up, we see the heart in everyone! Helping each other to read or calming each other over an anxiety we have all experienced (both Clients and Educators), can lead us to feelings of pride, strength and self-confidence when we meet new daily challenges. This is hard work, but can be uniquely rewarding.
You can see and feel the heart and effort behind every next Step! The eyes become brighter, the body language relaxes and a few words are spoken to tell you, you’ve both been accepted and understood. Sometimes there are no words but you still feel the heart is in balance between you. For even a few moments each day that heart can be felt. It is enough to teach you there is more; more for both of you to give if you are willing to take that next Step. We learn to breathe deeply and take that next Step because we know there is another one waiting. And Oh... the stories ‘It’ will tell!
“Oars Up” to Erica for arranging our visit with Canadian Olympian, Adam van Koeverden. Thank you, Adam for sharing your story with us and taking the time to show us that our two communities are similar in ways that are important going forward. Your story was also a validation to those Clients taking part in the Special Olympics! Everyone was excited and thrilled to meet you and your ‘heart’! You are part of ‘The Circle’ now and are welcome anytime!
A heartfelt “Thank You!” goes out to everyone who contributed to the Inspire Accessibility Showcase in Milton on May 4th. It was an informative few hours and an opportunity for those attending to learn more about what support and programmes are available. This event welcomed another opportunity to meet previous Clients that we know so well, and potential Clients yet to have our Prep to Step-Up experience. It was a very positive day!
Celebration Day on June 13th will also become an Open House as we share our story with others. It is hoped that an extended awareness of the Prep to Step-Up Program will also secure its future.
On that note, despite a few challenges, we have decided to continue offering the programme in the Fall. Watch for details in our next newsletter, June 1st and on Seminar Night, June 11th. There is so much heart and positivity that supports Prep to Step-Up as it fills that niche after high school and beyond, we can only see it continuing! Everyone contributes to the heart of this program. We “Thank you!” for your continued support!
“Oars Up!” to our Staff! From Ian and Anne for their artistic contribution to new Travelling experiences with Abby and Cassandra; from learning about Canadian Currency with Frederic and reading about our Canadian Firsts with Stacey; from learning about the science of flight to Cooking Up Canadian with Erica, read on for more inspiring stories!
... and the story of the heart at Prep to Step-Up continues!
“Never Ignore a Possible!”
~ Doreen McCall ~
Reading About Our Canada
The past few weeks of reading have been fast-paced. We’ve learned about the entire country of Canada including our great capitol of Canada, Ottawa, the Provinces and Territories and, of course, the capitol of Ontario, Toronto!
As Toronto is Adam Van Koeverden’s birthplace, it was perfect timing to learn about the big city just prior to meeting Adam during his visit with us at Prep to Step-Up! Adam shared with everyone, that “[His] dedication to Kayaking created a community similar to what you have here at Prep!”
In addition to learning about Canada, the Clients read about our Canadian Firsts; how Canadians have played a major role in shaping the world. From Jonathan reading about the first tabletop hockey game to Alvin reading about the first Superman comic; from Madison reading about the first chocolate bar to Brittany reading about the first healthy canola oil (big shout-out here to Science which brought out lots of laughter), who knew Canadians were leaders in so many discoveries? Prep Clients do!!
Everyone is looking forward to venturing outside of Canada in Literacy with many more discoveries to be revealed! Clients’ portfolios contain customized notes of what they have been reading so they can refresh their knowledge to keep up with their reading over the summer months. Visiting the Public Library has been encouraged to check-out the great selection of books they have already been exposed to.
Writing has been woven throughout Literacy with Fill-in-the-Blank pages to ensure comprehension of the material they read. Clients have also continued to journal notes about their friends at Prep. “Helpful, Nice, Fun, Happy, Good Friend and Polite" are only a few characteristics the Clients admire in each other. More will be shared on Celebration Day.
Math and Technology / DPA:
Currency, Coins and Customers
Continuing with our exploration of Canadian Currency, Clients completed their own sets of Canadian coins and bank notes. We have used these sets to explore how we use our money in practical situations such as The Store and various problem-solving activities and games.
The Store, held during Week 4, went very well! As well as being customers, Clients worked on a shift-based system to ensure that everyone had a chance to practice working at one of the many positions in The Store. All the Clients did an amazing job and drew on their theory knowledge of handling money and customer interaction, as well as adapting to the set-up in changes of the new products for sale.
In the coming weeks, Clients will explore another country to discover differences and similarities in how that country’s customers interact with their own currency.
Science and Geography:
Maps, Flight and Food!
This Semester has been flying by! After creating our World Maps, we began to take a closer look at the origins of the foods we eat. Investigating common food labels showed us that the food in our grocery stores comes from near and far. This contributed to discussions about important terms including ‘import’, ‘export’ and ‘transportation’.
One of the highlights this Semester has been our day for Canadian cooking! Everyone worked together to follow the steps in a recipe and to measure out the ingredients. Using Canadian milk, eggs, canola oil, blueberries and real maple syrup, we all enjoyed a delicious pancake treat!
Most recently, we have focused on the science of aeroplanes and flight; not only a method for food transportation but also as a tool for travel and exploration. With our handmade passports, we are now ready to take flight and travel around the world to different destinations. At each step, we will learn more about the places, the people, and of course, the food!!
A Brilliant Start to Our Canadian Artist Series!
The first artist studied in Our Canadian Artist Series, Ian MacIntyre, taught us how to shade and highlight our “Midnight Glow Pansy” acrylic paintings to learn about depth and definition. Clients demonstrated patience and resilience during these lessons while adding details to their finished artworks. The results were beautiful and will be proudly displayed at the Spring Semester Celebration Day on June 13th.
This past week we also learned about Canadian Artist, Nathalie Parenteau. Clients replicated her “Red Fox” and were given free reign to create fantasy foxes using pencil crayons.
How Do We Get to Where We Want to Go?
This week in Skills-at-Will, Clients focused on our special visitor, Adam Van Koeverden. The Rotation spent time learning about his career and brainstorming questions they wanted to ask him during his visit with us at Prep to Step-Up!
Later in the week, Clients explored where they would like to travel. We researched information and shared this within our groups.
Our Rotations showed great interest in learning exactly ‘How’ to travel to places both near and far and ‘What’ this would look like in their everyday lives. We are starting with taking an imaginary trip to Toronto. ‘How’ will we get there? ‘What’ will we do?” “How can we take the train?” These are all questions we will answer through research, discussion and role play. Later on, we will use our new skills to learn about travelling further away. We are having a great time exploring and travelling!