October 9th, 2018
Welcome back to the wonderful world of reading and writing! So far, in the first three weeks of the semester, Clients have been guided in taking some opportunities to re-acquaint themselves with the 5Ws (who, what, where, why, and when), and focus a little bit more on what each of the 5Ws means.
The Library is also up and running, so please keep your eye out for any books travelling back and forth between Clients and Prep to Step-Up! A ‘journal’ portion of each day has been added this semester, for Clients to keep track of what has been focused on during each lesson, offering writing practice as well as a day-by-day record to reflect back on.
Most recently, Clients have begun working on a ‘communities organizer’ to help in the study of Canadian Rights and Freedoms, and what that means for them.
How Literacy Connects to the Main Theme:
Before we can truly understand what it means to have rights and freedoms, we must first understand what a right and a freedom is. Clients have begun looking at the definitions of both of these words so that we can move forward in a more understanding and educated way.
Engaging in speaking/organizing what communities (family, town, province, country) we are all a part of was designed to help Clients better understand what is means to be a part of Canada and to have rights and freedoms.
Time and Money continues to be our main focus as we begin a new year with the Fall Semester. Warming-up and reviewing the basics connect with the main theme of Canadian Rights and Responsibilities as an everyday skill.
We worked on a fun, practical activity that taught Clients the difference between seconds and minutes. Using activities that took either a second or minute to do then acting them out, the importance of the differences were experienced and realized. The Clients enjoyed this creative, visualized start. Along with “Calendar”, it will certainly continue for the rest of the Semester.
How Math Connects to the Main Theme:
Connections between Time and ‘how’ we are privileged to be able to spend it, along with ‘how’ we can use it in making good choices to help others, draws a parallel with another learning tool we have at Prep to Step-Up, The Choice Chart.
The Choice Chart is a posted list of daily responsibilities that Clients may choose from to help make the day run efficiently for the benefit of the whole ‘Circle’. Each responsibility earns a wage of $.25. Every two weeks the earnings are tallied and deposited in our mock “Bank” to be later spent at “The Store”. Clients learn the skills that run both to understand their Rights and Responsibilities toward being employed and earning a living. Budgeting is also explored as a Choice.
With a focus on ‘ourselves’ this semester, we have started learning about the role of food and nutrition in keeping our bodies healthy. The “Eat a Rainbow” project has been introduced, in which clients are encouraged to enjoy fresh colourful foods at Prep to Step-Up.
We hope to encourage healthy choices and to help develop food literacy. In the coming weeks, we will build upon our knowledge of food groups by looking more closely at the sources of food and its properties with hands-on experiments. We will also be welcoming the Dairy Farmers of Ontario for an interactive presentation.
Art will focus on individuality and choice. Personalized portfolios to take all their art home at the end of the Semester was our first project to illustrate Inclusion at the Special Olympics and the up-coming Invictus Games. Introducing other special dates this Fall to include Thanksgiving, Hallowe’en and Remembrance Day will encourage Clients to express creatively the impact these events have on our lives today.
Music Therapy and Djembe Drum Circle
Mindfulness, Stress Release and Communication or Speaking is enhanced by our Music/Musical Theatre/Drumming activities. These are experienced in different ways every day. Drumming is primal and for humans, our first Story Teller throughout history. It has been scientifically proven that certain repetitions, certain tones in music or sounds can bring about a cognitive change in the brain, encouraging calmness, focus and improved communication.
During the first few weeks we have focused on “who” the Clients are in relation to “what” is important to them in their everyday lives. We reviewed our feelings and “how” to identify and cope with them in healthy ways. We had a lot of fun illustrating this visually with the “All About Me Shirts”. Using this knowledge we’ve begun to discuss the difference between Rights and Responsibilities as they apply to Prep to Step-Up, at our homes and within our community.
Thank you for joining the “Circle” in our Fifth Year of Prep to Step-Up!
Alumni and New, all Clients have come together with anticipation and excitement to look forward to new experiences as the “Circle” enjoys this year all together!
Twice a Semester, Educators with Clients’ Families and Support Staff are invited to our Seminar Nights. Indoctrinated from the beginning as an integral part of Prep to Step-Up, we share what’s going on during the days of the program so that consistency and conversations can continue at home.
Like every family, parents must develop some new coping tools of communication to accommodate having their adult children living at home. We recognize the possible stress this can have within a household.
Parenting a child with neurodiversities and special abilities can be isolating. We have found that a Seminar Night can allow a parent the insight to feeling less alone and supported by others sharing similar experiences. We even draw to music and learn to breathe all over again! We love to see the faces that match a Clients’ to get the whole picture! Please feel warmly welcomed to join us at the next Seminar Night, November 27th.
“Everyone deserves the right to fight to THEIR finish line. That is only possible if we are all given equal rights to stand at the start line!”
This quote, from Rhonda-Marie Park, a Blind Ultra Runner from Kitchener/Waterloo, is the premise of our theme for the year to learn about our Rights and Responsibilities as Canadians. Leading her life as a brave example for Inclusion, you can read about Rhonda-Marie as she completed the 500 km. VOL State Race in Tennessee last June in 8 gruelling days supported by her Father.
The aim of our theme is to have Clients learn about their own rights as they apply to themselves, their families and the responsibilities this gives them to contribute to their community. Each Semester will represent a different approach relating to “Ourselves”, “Others” and “The World”.
We all have the right to realize the responsibilities toward ourselves contributing to our society or community.
Communication = Knowledge = Empowerment