Building on an already solid foundation, Corianne Neilson, the new program coordinator at Stettler’s Parent Link Centre, is excited about expanding programming as the fall season approaches.
The Stettler Parent Link Centre, located right behind the mall, offers a range of programs aimed squarely at strengthening all aspects of family life.
Other opportunities to learn include the Positive Parenting Program, Bringing Baby Home and Super Dads, Super Kids.
Another highlight of the organization is how it can bring parents in the area together.
“Catherine Robinson (former coordinator) worked really hard to build the program and to build rapport with parents and to meet their needs. So coming into the role of program coordinator, I want to be respectful of the work that she did and also add to it.
“This has been a good time to come into the role and get a sense of where we are headed and what we are doing,” she added, referring to the summer months.
“We can still work at making those connections with the families, too. You can’t really build a connection just with the parents – you have to build it with the children as well, so it’s been a lot of fun!
“We have amazing families here in Stettler and across the surrounding areas, and it’s really cool to see how families are utilizing the Parent Link Centre. When they come in here, and they take a look around and they stay for a bit – they say, ‘This is a great place!’ I’m also finding out what it is that they want from the program. It’s not about what I want, it’s not only about what the province expects, it’s about making it work for everybody.
“What do the parents want? What do they need? We look at the expectations from the provincial standards and we make it work. And honestly, from what I’ve seen, it’s not hard to bring that balance together and build a great program for our families.”
Since opening its first program in 1975, McMan Youth, Family and Community Services Association (which is the umbrella organization that Stettler Parent Link falls under) has grown and evolved into a dynamic not-for-profit social service agency that provides a comprehensive range of programs, notes the Facebook page.
Meanwhile, over the summer, Neilson and her team have been busy further bolstering the awareness about what Parent Link has to offer.
“We’ve been in the parks, making contact with the families and letting them know where we are. We give them a calendar and point to some of the activities that we are working on. We are just trying to promote it ourselves in a different way – I don’t think we can solely rely on social media and we can’t solely rely on word of mouth.
“Some of it has to come from within our own organization and by putting ourselves out there.
“We also have families come in from out of town. They come in to buy their groceries or go to an appointment, and they will come in here and hang out for the afternoon. They might bring a lunch and use it as the stopping point before they have to drive home.
“One thing that we are also very excited is to do more outreach. Currently, we only go out to Erskine and offer a program there once a month. The places we are also looking at include Donalda, Botha and Big Valley. Maybe some others, but those are the first three we are focusing on, and the hope is to have everything up and organized by October.”
Neilson said they will also be introducing a Grandparents time on Wednesday afternoons this fall as well.
For more, find them on Facebook at ‘Stettler Parent Link Centre’.