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Testimonial by Tarek and Alsana parents from Crescent Town from Marcelo Castro on Vimeo.

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Video Testimonials 2013

Video testimonials 2012

Video testimonials 2011

Success Stories

Gaining Confidence
Yin was really shy the first couple days of the program and just liked to observe her surroundings and people around. She mostly played by herself and watched other children interacted with one another; the reason assumed is that Yin lacked the English language. However, by the end of the first week Yin interacted with staff and other children more through introducing her family to people from the picture under a family tree the staff has created. With Yin being interested about the different family picture staff had up, she got other children talking about their families as well.  Yin became more confident and come in every morning saying “Good Morning” to staff and interacted with children in the activities. She even sang along during circle time, which she didn’t do at the beginning and she is able to say simple sentences when communicate with staff and other children. Staff can see that Yin was becoming more comfortable with the people in the program and built on her self-esteem in becoming more out-going and engaging herself with others.

On My Own for the First Time

Gowtham was a four-year-old boy. According to mother, he has never been away from his parents and grandparents. Gowtham had severe separation anxiety the first day in the Ready for School Program. After mother left the classroom, he was screaming and wailing, and none of the staff could calm him down. Mother had to come back to the classroom and stay with him for the rest of the program. In order to help Gowtham deal with the anxiety and get used to the program routines, a staff member was assigned to sit with him during the circle and help him handle the separation. Four days into the program, he became more relaxed and was able to separate from his parents without crying. He also started to enjoy the program more and was able to concentrate on the morning activities (e.g. name puzzles and name books).

Gowtham was not quite sure how to play with so many toys and children at the beginning (e.g. he threw toys cars instead of playing with them), so we tried to teach him how to play with toys and get him involved in other activities. He started to pick up the program routines the second week into the program, and was very helpful in cleaning up (while singing the cleaning up song). He also became very interested in kitchen toys and had some interaction with other children during unstructured play. The family continues to attend the local Early Years Programs so that Gowtham has the opportunity to interact with other children before school starts.

Father and Son Connection
Ahmed and his dad, Muhammed attended the RfSC program at Crescent Town
School. Muhammed had been working long hours in the restaurant industry for several years and missed spending time with his son and was happy to have the time to accompany his son to RfSC. On the first day, Ahmed cried desperately when his dad tried to leave to go to the parent workshops. He clung to his father tightly and was so upset that he threw up. Dad was embarrassed that his son was making such a fuss as he tried in vain to peel his son from his legs. He scolded him in a loud, stern voice. We explained to Dad that it is important for his son to have a good first experience at school and that Dad can stay in the children’s program until Ahmed gets comfortable in the new environment. Our goal, we told him, was that at the end of the two weeks, his son would be able to participate in programs independently. This we expected and this is exactly what we saw.

What we didn’t expect to see was the effects this had on his father. Muhammed sat on a chair in the classroom, watching the program in action. Muhammed saw his son get to know and play with other children, try new activities and become more comfortable at school. One day, when the children went outside to play, a staff stayed behind to clean the tables and set up for lunch. Muhammed offered to help and as they set the lunches out together, Muhammed expressed to the staff how impressed he was with the way the staff work with the children, they were so warm and friendly and the children responded well. He went on to explain his school experience back home in Pakistan, where teachers are often feared by their students. He admired this ‘new’ way of working with children. Over the two week program we saw a softening in his behaviour toward his own son. He seemed a little gentler, softer and more accommodating. Near the end of the program, upon returning from a parent workshop, he scooped up his son in a big hug in front of the whole class and said “I love you, I love you so much”.

On the first day of the program in bounded a little 4-year old boy who, with a shriek of excitement, ran straight for the toys at the other end of the classroom. In the days following, the sound of his excited screech would become very familiar. It very quickly became apparent that Carlos was different. During group circle time, he would fidget and squirm, distracted by the toys. He would try so hard to run away that someone would have to sit next to him at all times. He’d rush to finish lunch to get back to the toys. When he was given free time to play with what he wished he would quickly get worked up, frantic and frenzied. Wherever he went he left a trail of crying peers and toppled blocks.

With some closer attention, the RfSC staff came to the discovery that Carlos looked up and responded well to one of the teachers, so he decided to work one on one with the boy. The strategy changed. Instead of preventing him from running around and becoming overly excited, Carlos was praised and the goal was to find things which interested him so as not to let him get overwhelmed.  After the end of the program this approach had worked so well that on the tenth and last day, Carlos had discovered how much he enjoyed making and dancing to music.  When it came time for the final rendition of the Goodbye Train, Carlos was sitting next to his big friend, looking up, singing right along.

Community Supports
Tiffany walked around the classroom, refusing to take part in activities that involved the large group. It was clear Tiffany displayed some behavioural red flags, for example, repetitive ways of playing with her hands and needing something in her hands at all times, rarely smiling, not engaging with other children or adults and demonstrating little skill in her home language. By the end of the two-week program, her mom felt more comfortable talking with staff about her concerns regarding Tiffany’s development and subsequently brought her to the Healthy Child Screening where her family was able to find support for their daughter.