Highlights in history: What is the CRC and what does it do?

The High Prairie and District Children’s Resource Council has a full complement of staff. In the front row, left-right, are: Tanya Auger, CRC reception and coalition administrative assistant; Crystabelle Encinans-Rodriguez, Healthy Choices for Moms and Babies program coordinator; Jenny Kay, Good Start program coordinator, and CPNP program supervisor, and PLC and Triple P supervisor; Nilda Dube, Brighter Futures coordinator; Kerry Cunningham, PPLC program coordinator, and Peggy McCarthy, PPLC program coordinator, and Triple P Parenting facilitator. In the back row, left-right, are Lori Anderson, Brighter Futures Next Steps coordinator; Harmony Cunningham, Brighter Futures Next Steps Wellness coordinator; Robin Baker, Stronger Together success coach, Annette Forrester, administrative support; Milena-Gwen McBain, CRC data and library services coordinator; Denise Willier, CRC office manager and chief financial officer; and Lindsay Davies, CRC executive director, and chief administrative officer. Missing are: Roni Davis, PPLC program coordinator; and Jessica Chalifoux, Stronger Together Wellness coach.

* The High Prairie & District Children’s Resource Council is a non-profit charity organization established in 1994. The council was formed to access federal health program funding which became available through the Community Action Program for Children initiative.

* The council developed the Brighter Futures program in 1994 to address the health and developmental needs of young children with the newly available CAPC funding.

* Since inception, the CRC has been committed to the mobilization of community action based on local wisdom through a central community development strategy designed to build partnerships and work in collaboration.

* The council adopted the existing Good Start Pre-Natal Nutrition Program funded by the Canadian Pre-Natal Nutrition Program in 1999 to improve the health and development of expecting parents and their infants.

* The CRC adopted the Parents as Teachers program in January 2005, funded by the Alberta Children and Family Services Authority in order to provide home-family visits and services to families with children pre-natal to five.

* The council was approved to sponsor the Parent Link Centre for High Prairie and area in 2006. The overall objectives of this initiative was to provide information and resources to assist Alberta’s parents in their role as their children’s first and most influential teachers and to link parenting programs and services through a province-wide network that promotes excellence, facilitates the sharing of resources, knowledge and best practices, fosters the creation of partnerships, and encourages cooperation on projects of value to the network as a whole, as well as to individual members. As of 2009, the ministry decided that no new Parent Link contracts would be awarded.

* In the fall of 2006, the council initiated the formation of a parent-led working group/subcommittee to work toward a strategy for public child care in High Prairie. The Parent Advisory Committee developed a strategy to build a major facility for children and families that would house the services of the CRC and a licensed public child care centre. The facility would provide one-stop services for children 0-6 years and their families, and also provide information and referral services to other agencies and organizations.

* In 2007, the council was approved by Alberta Child and Family Services to sponsor an Early Childhood Resource Centre in place of Parent Link for families with children pre-natal to six years of age. As a separate site, the centre is focused on providing parent-child early learning services, care-giving and parenting skills training, information and referral services, specialized services for groups of families with specific needs and issues and houses the Brighter Futures Toy Library.

* In 2009, the council decided to assume full responsibility of the major facility project and to continue to build a Parent Link model [to provide a regional one-stop service centre] by building a comprehensive service site, expanding outreach services using existing resources and developing new programs to provide better services for families and children of all ages. The council created a Parent Action Working Group to research and apply for funding for the project and complete the daycare program plan.

* In 2009, the council’s Good Start Program initiated free Doulas Services for vulnerable mothers as the High Prairie Health Complex could no longer deliver infants. All infants in the High Prairie area are now delivered outside of the community creating a service gap in connecting new mothers to community supports before and after birth. The Doulas service is designed to provide the mother and infant with intensive education and support through the pre-natal, labour and delivery, and post-natal process and maintain the family’s connection with the community and its service providers.

* In 2010, the CRC accepted sponsorship of the EcMap Project Seed Grant Coalition Funds and developed an early childhood coalition to raise awareness of the importance of early childhood development, release and EDI data results, build community capacity around early childhood, create early childhood strategies to advocate for the early years and improve EDI results.

* In 2010, the CRC was asked to chair and administer the Early Years Continuum Pilot Project to evaluate and establish community service pathways and system collaboration between education, health, social service, cultural and community agencies.

* In 2013, the CRC hosted the area’s first Early Years Expo and focused on engaging community partners and families on the importance of the Early Years.

* In late 2013, the CRC closed the Parents As Teachers program due to funding changes.

* In 2013, the CRC launched a new pilot program, Stronger Together. The program is for vulnerable families with children 0-18 years of age and provides a family-centered approach to comprehensive home and personal visitation services to reduce child maltreatment and build protective factors within the family. The program builds family life skills, self-reliance and resiliency, parenting skills, support networks, parental involvement and bonding, and increases knowledge of child development.

* In the spring of 2014, the CRC became the contract holder of the Prairie Parent Link Centre in High Prairie. The goal of the Parent Link is to build community capacity to improve early childhood development and family stability. Early Childhood Resource Centre Services will continue and expand under the Parent Link Model.

* In the fall of 2014 the CRC’s Stronger Together program proposal was selected for continued provincial contract funding [3 years] under the Prevention and Early Intervention Framework of Alberta Child and Family Services.

* The CRC is a credible and accountable organization that has become an important resource for families and communities. The CRC provides families with developmental assessment services, early learning opportunities, maternal health and infant development services, health and wellness education, life skills training, toys and resources, parent/caregiver education services, support services, flexible and responsive programming, and access to programs for anyone who needs them and is willing to actively participate.

* In the fall of 2014, the CRC changed the scope of its facility project and purchased a facility in the town of High Prairie. The CRC has since relocated its modular facility to the rear of the property. Service improvements, relocation, repairs and renovations were scheduled for completion by June 30, 2015.

* In 2015, the CRC celebrated its 21st anniversary of service and offering programs for families with children under the age of six, and expansion into older age groups. The CRC also celebrated its team of professionals and volunteers with a combined 80+ years of experience in the field of early childhood and family support. The CRC will eventually open its new facility to be connected to the existing ECRC facility where the two manufactured buildings will operate one-stop family enrichment and early learning services.

* The CRC celebrated its grand opening in the old House of Furniture Building Oct. 1, 2016. “The CRC is committed to actively improving the quality of life for every child, parent and family in the Big Lakes and Smoky River communities,” said CRC vice-chair Barry Sharkawi in his speech. “Our goal is for all children, regardless of race, creed or circumstances, to help them achieve their full potential.”
The new, spacious facility will help the CRC offer better programming in a better atmosphere of learning.
Town of High Prairie Mayor Linda Cox said, “Today, we stand in a facility that is the envy of other small towns our size. Two years ago, the province recognized the Children’s Resource Council’s quality of programming when it opened one of Alberta’s first Parent Links in the CRC facilities.”
“Every child deserves to grow up in a safe, healthy environment that nurtures their development and prepares them for a bight future,” said Lesser Slave Lake MLA Danielle Larivee. “As a mother of three children, I can appreciate how important the centre will be for parents and their children. The centre will play a key role in early childhood development.”
We accept donations!
Donations are accepted at the main site in High Prairie and at regional locations. Here is what you can consider donating:
– infant, child, youth and maternity clothing.
– infant, child and youth winter outer wear.
– children’s books.
– toys.
– equipment for infants and children such as highchairs, strollers, booster seats, etc.
– craft supplies.
– outside equipment and toys for children.
– outdoor furniture.
Regional Service Locations
Community Venue
East Prairie East Prairie Community Hall
Parent Link Centre
Faust Faust Fire Hall
Girouxville Girouxville Community Hall
Grouard Grouard Northland School
HP Main Site 4709-51 Avenue
HP Modular Site 4709b-50 Avenue
oussard Joussard Community Hall
Kinuso Kinuso Community Centre
McLennan Providence School
Peavine Peavine Parent Link Centre
[Bishop Routhier School]
Sunset House S.House Community Centre
CRC Parade of programs
Drop-in and Library Showcase

A day for parents and children to drop-in at their leisure and enjoy unstructured play time. Parents, caregivers and children five years and under are welcome to utilize our play centres provided they are supervised. No snack is provided for drop-in groups. There is also an opportunity for parents and families to interact. These times also allow for opportunity to explore the toy and resource library and any feature items being showcased.
Toy and Resource Library

Members have access to various age appropriate toys, educational resources and information. Geared toward healthy child development, items can be borrowed up to two weeks.
CRC memberships are $10 per year and must be paid in order to utilize the CRC Library in High Prairie and at any of its regional locations.
Children’s Coalition

The Big Lakes Smoky River Children’s Coalition is an early years advocacy and community engagement committee of volunteers. The group is project-based and designs each project through the vision of “community raising tomorrow” and improving the importance of early childhood development in our region.
To join, call Tanya at [780] 523-2715.
Babies and Bellies

It is a one-session drop-in program on preparing mom and her support person for labour and delivery of their new bundle of joy. Topics covered are preterm labour, stages of labour, comfort techniques, and labour positions.
Pre-Natal Instruction Class

The program requires pre-registration. Program focuses on preparing mom and her support person for bringing the baby home. Topics covered are breastfeeding and formula feeding, bathing, car seat and crib safety, colic, thrush, and baby blues vs postpartum depression.
Mommy and Me

The program is designed for moms of babies one year and under. The group offers rhymes that bind circle time, information, and education to enrich parent skills, infant development and family health. The program provides an opportunity to share experiences, do crafts and fun activities. Guest presentations can be made available depending on group interest.
Dads Drop-in Play Times

This is a drop-in free play group for fathers and their children five years of age and under to enjoy unstructured playtime and interact with other fathers.
First Steps into Kindergarten

First Steps into Kindergarten program is designed for children who will be entering kindergarten in the fall of 2017. Both parent and child will engage in active “learning through play” centres to develop key skills needed to succeed in kindergarten. Information will be provided for parents to continue their child’s successful development at home.
To register and for more information, call Peggy at [780] 523-2715.
To register Triple P Parenting

The Positive Parenting Program provides Levels 2, 3 and 4 and targeted workshop sessions. Offers topic based workshops.
For information, call Jenny at [780] 523-2715, extension 27.
Parent N’ Tots/Play and Learn

Play centres and group activities are provided for parent/child interaction supporting age appropriate learning and development for children 0-5 years. The program is based on the five core areas of development through play-based learning. Encourage a child to wonder, to think, to feel and to imagine. Play n’ Learn aims to extend the child’s interest; it encourages participation and requires parent-child interaction.
PJs and Pancakes

Come join us for pancakes and wear your pajamas if you’d like. There will be fun learning centres to play at, songs and interactive games and books available.
Stronger Together Family Support

The program provides family support, parenting skills, relationship and resiliency building strategies and positive child development techniques. The model is designed to improve protective factors that increase the health and well-being of families and children, help parents find resources, strengthen healthy bonds and relationships within families, access supports when needed, cope with stress and addictions, provide permanency for their children and focus on individual development for themselves and children. Monthly family nights began in April.
For more information, call [780] 523-2715, extensions 35.
Taming the Dragon

Taming the Dragon is an early childhood development program designed to improve the social and emotional development of children in kindergarten or ECS. The program helps children understand their feeling and appropriate responses to those feelings. We cover happy, sad/lonely, afraid/shy, curious, angry, sorry, and work to build your child’s emotional understanding, resiliency and development.
Call [780] 523-2715 or e-mail Nilda at bf.crc@telus.net to book your class.
Let’s Get Cooking

Let’s Get Cooking is a cooking and nutrition program that also provides training in food budgeting, meal planning and preparation, and food storage. The goal of this monthly program is to teach families how to prepare and cook a low cost and super nutritious meal together.
Call [780] 523-2715 or e-mail Nilda at bf.crc@telus.net to book your class.
Bright Futures Group

Child/youth 6-17 years after school groups for those facing conditions of risk. This program is offered Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:30-5 p.m. Registration is by referral only.
Bright Futures Next Steps participates in High Prairie and District Regional Recreation Board PD Camps and community events.
Call Lori at [780] 523-9861 or e-mail bfns.crc@telus.net for more details.

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