There’s a host of new programs coming to the St. Albert Family Resource Centre that Leta Price guarantees will have something for everybody young and old alike. As the Family Life Education manager at the facility, she has got the inside scoop on what St. Albert’s families need and what she can do to help them all out.
She even does focus groups and questionnaires to help determine what new programs to develop. Price proudly announced a bunch of new programs for kids, for parents, and yes, even for the parents of parents.
“We do an awful lot of asking, ‘what do you want to see?’ and ‘what’s the next trend?’ I’ll send out surveys to people just to say ‘is there anything coming up that you might need to know?'” she remarked. “This year the buzz seems to be about grandparents. A lot of people are talking about things for grandparents right now.”
One of the main attractions of the new schedule is Just for Grandparents, set to run on the first and third Wednesdays of every month from 10 to 11 a.m. The grandparents can speak with one of the centre’s programmers to talk about concerns or issues. There will also be childcare available in case guests are taking care of the grandkids at the same time.
Price admitted that she’s very excited about this program and hopes that it becomes popular.
“Today, parenting is a lot different than parenting when they were raising their children. A lot of them have struggles. We just want them to have a place to go and connect.”
Open house and later hours
She added that this trend toward grandparent programming has held a lot of influence for the centre to open up on Wednesday evenings too. Starting Wednesday, Sept. 18, the centre will be open until 8 p.m.
That’s also the day that the Family Resource Centre will be hosting an open house. All day, people can take in a tour of the place, talk with the parent coach or join in on some of the fine programs. What’s more, they’re all free just on that day. Otherwise, they’re still free but only if you have a membership.
To encourage people to get on board, there will be giveaways of free water bottles for new memberships.
“Our biggest hardship – and this is a really big problem – is that St. Albert doesn’t have a Parent Link Centre,” she continued, referring to the province’s initiative that offers a one-stop shop for all kinds of information and resources for parents.
She said that the city was in line for funding for a centre but then all funding was cut. These facilities offer Positive Parenting Programs (also known as Triple P) that, according to its website at alberta.triplep-staypositive.net, claims to be scientifically proven to work in helping hundreds of thousands of families in more than 20 countries deal with parenting issues ranging from temper tantrums to disobedience to bedtime struggles, homework, bullying and teenage rebellions.
There are more than 60 such centres across the province. This city is the largest city to not have its own Parent Link, but communities as small as Chestermere and Sundre have their own. There is still a website that anyone can access at www.parentlinkalberta.ca.
Since she sits on the Community Resource Group for the city’s Family and Community and Support Services, she gets a good sense of how closely the Family Resource Centre matches the needs of the community and where the disparities – if any – lie.
Bullying was the big deal last year, she said. The centre responded with 15 outreach courses on the subject for schools, daycares and other out of school care centres.
The program for grandparents isn’t the only new one coming to the Family Resource Centre’s schedule. There’s also Creative Kids, Discover and Learn, Taking Care of You, The Early Years, Mommycize (and dads too), among others. Unplugged will show kids in Grades 2 through 4 how to play without today’s modern electronic gadgetry.
Price said that there are lots of programs for all ages, even teenagers. Since the Youth Community Centre closed down, they’ve tried to pick up the slack.
To check out the full listing, please call 780-459-7377 or visit www.stalbertfrc.ca. The centre is located at 215 Carnegie Drive.
St. Albert Family Resource Centre Open House
Wednesday, Sept. 18
Drop in for a tour, take part in free classes and learn about the programs offered at the centre. All classes are free on the 18th only
9:30 to 11:30 a.m. – Meal Time Struggles (offered by Alberta Health)
9:30 to 11:30 or 1 to 3 p.m. – Discover and Learn
5:30 to 7:30 p.m. – Play Time drop-in program
6 to 6:30 p.m. – Mommycize
All day – Parent Coach
The St. Albert Family Resource Centre is located at Suite 10A, 215 Carnegie Drive (along with the Community Information and Volunteer Centre in the Campbell Business Centre).
For more information, call 780-459-7377 or visit www.stalbertfrc.ca.