LETTER FROM MCRC'S EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AND BOARD CHAIR
Another year has passed since our last AGM and it is at this point that we pause to reflect on our accomplishments, our challenges, our successes, our proud times and our difficult moments. All of this is done through the lens of our strategic plan and helps us map out “where to from here”. Our current and past practices must constantly be reviewed and updated as we strive to meet the changing demands and needs of the early learning and child care field, workforce, and our children and their families.
At MCRC, we endeavour to be inclusive at every level of our organization. It is this aspiration that has provided us with some of our greatest successes and some of our most difficult challenges. We must respect without judgement the many cultures, traditions, beliefs, languages, lifestyles and abilities of our workforce as well as the children, families and individuals that we serve. MCRC’s vision of a safe, caring community where children and families are valued, grow and succeed starts with us being a learning-centred organization that incorporates the needs, abilities, assets and perspectives of all individuals to foster a true sense of belonging.
One of our proudest moments is when we received this feedback from a parent whose child switched schools and as a result went from one of our Before and After School programs to another.
“Your staff continue to impress me with their ability to support Lauryn to make meaningful friendships with other children. Right away within a couple of weeks it was clear that the level of inclusion at Boyne would continue just as we had experienced at Chris Hadfield. Each morning when we arrive many children, whose names I don’t even know, come running up to Lauryn excited that she is there and quickly whisk her off to join them in their activities. It’s as if they don’t even notice her disability or quite frankly don’t really care about it. Yesterday I spent a good amount of time searching my brain for a word that captures the community that is there. The best I can do is to give you what I think is a definition because I’m not sure there is a word… It is like inclusion but it goes beyond the feeling of acceptance that Lauryn experiences within the group and that others within the group experience when they think of her. What I’m trying to capture is the feeling that the children project that Lauryn is one of them and it is as if they are proactively looking out for her and looking for ways that they can include her each day. Almost like at a family member. Although I don’t have the words to capture this please know that I see it, and how grateful I am for what is being created in your program. As a result of the efforts of your staff Lauryn is truly a member of her school community. She doesn’t experience the barriers to social relationships that many others who have a disability face.”
Amanda Heilesen and her daughter are an inspiration. They are a valued member of our MCRC family, and we are forever thankful for their trust in us. We thank them for allowing us to grow and learn through their spectacular assets and very meaningful perspectives.
You will be able to meet Amanda through our digital AGM where she speaks to her and her daughter’s experience of MCRC’s inclusion.
May you always be included,
2020 SLATE OF BOARD DIRECTORS