Sources Infant Development Program’s Annual Picnic in the Park
As the weather turns warmer, more people spend time outdoors, making this the perfect time to picnic. That’s what Sources Infant Development Program (IDP) did on July 26 at Bear Creek Park in Surrey – their Annual Family Picnic.
98 children and family members, 3 Program alumni and 12 IDP staff attended. Under the cool shade of trees was a table fully stocked with snacks and treats; a face painting and crafts tent; a bubble machine ejecting massive bubbles; kiddie pools filled with colourful toys; and families and friends on blankets, enjoying their surroundings.
Many of the families and children were reconnecting with the rest of the IDP community, while others were meeting for the first time. Also present was staff who provided care and support for families and children over the years.
Youth who graduated from the IDP and Early Childhood Development Program (ECDP) also returned as volunteers. One of these alumna was Raya.
Nine-year-old Raya helped out at the crafts tent. It was little surprise when she said, “My favourite activity is arts and crafts – mostly doodling.”
Sharing her excellent artistic skills wasn’t the only reason why Raya was volunteering.
“I like playing with kids,” Raya said – and she was great at it. It was clear that the kids were excited with the wind makers that Raya helped craft, and felt comfortable and happy interacting with her.
IDP Consultant Suman has worked with the Program for 11 years, and has known Raya since she was born. Walking down memory lane, Raya giggled as Suman recalled how Raya would only eat “Gwapes” [grapes] during IDP’s Playgroup. It’s recollections like this that model the personalized support and care offered through Sources Early Childhood Development Services (ECDS).
“IDP has a profound effect on the children’s growth and development. As a Consultant, we see a lot of details: from not being able to crawl at all, to crawling, to walking. Tiny things like this. As for the family in general, there’s an incredible emotional toll on everyone one day to the next. We provide social support so the circumstances are manageable.”
“We also provide referrals to specialists as needed, such as physiotherapists, occupational therapists and/or speech pathologists. We collaborate with our community partners.”
As the sun approached its peak and the picnic approached its end, IDP Program Manager Yvonne Adebar pulled out her guitar for a final musical activity. Families formed a ring around her as she played classics such as If You’re Happy and You Know It and Shake My Sillies Out. The circle of music and dance then transformed into a line for the freshly-cut cake. Afterwards, everyone made their way to the Bear Creek Park Train, for which tickets were generously sponsored by Cory and Sandy Saran.
With smiles and cheers of “Choo choo!” echoing as the train made its way down the tracks, it was clear that the IDP Family Picnic was a great success.
IDP connects families with children aged birth to three who are diagnosed with or are at risk for developmental delays to the ECDS’ programs, or by referring children to specialists. ECDS provides an inclusive and caring environment for all its clients.
Story & Photos by Amira Loosemore