StrongStart: A place of community and growth

November 15, 2020

“I love seeing the connections that are created in the StrongStart environment that then grow outside the classroom and into the community,” says Samantha Collie. She is one of several StrongStart coordinators who work in the district.

Collie is an Early Childhood Educator who facilitates the StrongStart Centre at Simonds Elementary and James Hill Elementary. The program sees parents with pre-K children, as young as newborn, visiting with their child and interacting with other parents and families.

“Parents play with their children and can network with other families,” says Collie. “Activities provided will promote opportunities where children can make new friends, explore new activities and learn skills that will assist them in the preparation and successful transition to Kindergarten. Families will learn strategies, games, and songs.”

Collie spends her time ensuring the best educational and community building experience for both. “Families have access to a rich play based early learning environment full of a variety of activities that are facilitated by fully qualified and experienced Early Childhood Educator (ECE),” says Collie. “It is a safe partnership where families can come to play, learn, and grow together enhancing the experience and skills of both parent and child.”

“ECE staff role model and encourage parent child relationships while supporting the enhancement of all aspects of child development,” explains Collie, “including oral language, early literacy skills, physical, intellectual and social well-being.”

But for Collie it’s so much more than providing just education to the children. For her it’s a community that she is a part of. “[I love] the sense of community and the relationships that are built with both the caregiver and child(ren),” says Collie. “I am always striving to learn more. I love the multicultural learning that I gain from the families.”

Visit Samantha Collie, or one of the many other facilitators at their StrongStart Centres. The program is free for families in Langley. Learn how to sign up here.