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dad westcoast

Neil Stephenson The Local Guide for Active Urban Families

dive in! education for every child

january/february 2016

education | field trips | fundraising

Jan/Feb 2016


families westcoast

january/february 2016

• education • field trips • fundraising

on our cover... Chloe is ready to dive in to reading this year! Photo by Dylan Doubt

Fundraising Raise the Funds!

Education Playing with Numbers

Education Is IB for Your Child?

Education New BC Curriculum





Field Trips Fieldtripping Locally

Education Financial Literacy

Education Resource Listings

WCF Feature New Year! Fresh Start!





24 dad

from the editor


Neil Stephenson Director of Learning Services for the Delta School District

6 8 22 28 30

From Our Family to Yours WestCoast Finds WCF News Community Calendar Last Look Lego Math

next issue mar/apr • Family Travel & Adventure Guide • Spring Break • Camp Guide part I: Sleepaway Camps

4 Instagram: @westcoastfamilies

Jan/Feb 2016


from our family to yours

families westcoast


ew Year, New Us!

Here at WestCoast Families, we wish you a very happy 2016! A new year always brings with it change, challenges, and excitement, and the same can be said for our magazine. We’re always looking for new ways to offer our readers and advertisers the best value, information, and methods to connect with their community. That’s why we’re revamping the magazine with new themes, new ideas, and a whole new us with six double issues every year, packed with information and insight into the Lower Mainland. PLUS we’ll have special issues too throughout the year! Check us out at one of many fantastic locations.

Managing Editor Andrea Vance Assistant Editor Kelly S. Thompson Contributing Editor Jodi Iverson

Change is afoot at WestCoast Families, but we pride ourselves on offering the same great content, and our January/February Education issue is no different! We’ve got some amazing features to outline the new BC curriculum and highlight the details of the renowned IB program. And if you haven’t heard about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), then this issue will tell you all you need to know about various programs and education streams popping up over the province.

Administration Jennifer Bruyns

Thank you for picking us up and exploring all that the Lower Mainland has to offer. Check us out next month for our annual Travel and Adventure Guide and Camp Guide, all rolled into one, mammoth issue!

Accounts Receivable & Payable Jennifer Brule

Art Director & Layout Krysta Furioso

Advertising 604.249.2866

Assistant Editor

wcf presents Children in the Heart of the Matter

ABC Family Literacy Day

Friday Jan 15 & Saturday Jan 16 19th Annual Conference Bell Performing Arts Centre 6250 144 Stree, Surrey, BC

Take 15 minutes a day to learn with your family! Events taking place all over BC. Find more activities you can do as a family at

Published by National Families Network Publisher: Andrea Vance For distribution inquiries, please email For submissions to our community calendars, please email To share your feedback, please email Contributors Jennifer Bruyns, Krysta Furioso, Laura Grady, Sheryl Gray, Jodi Iverson, Kathryn Mendelcorn, Kelly S. Thompson, Heidi Turner, Andrea Vance All contents copyrighted ©. Written permission from the publisher is required to reproduce, quote, reprint or copy any material from WestCoast Families

The advertisers in this issue allow us to provide you with all this great local information. Please support their businesses, and let them know you saw them in WestCoast Families!


Mailing address: 1215-C56 St. Box 18057 Delta, BC V4L 2M4 T 604 249 2866 | F 604 676 2802

Jan/Feb 2016


westcoast finds Cubelets Robotic Kits These amazing magnetic blocks snap together and become a personalized robot! Encourage your child’s love for Science, Technology, Math and Engineering with these unique robotic cubes that require no knowledge of coding but inspire endless hours of creativity. | $160 and up

Peekabloom Toddler Purses Rory’s Story Cubes Kids can take these pictorial cubes, some with themes (like Batman!) and use them to tell stories and jog their imaginations through storytelling. Each arrangement will inspire new tales for endless hours of fun. | $20


While the shop has many goodies for children, we love their supple leather toddler purses, guaranteed to make any little one feel like a fancy big kid. Kids can store trinkets and pocket change during family outings. | $28

$$$ fundraising

Raise the Funds! Tips for fundraising by Jodi Iverson


Purdy’s 100% sustainably sourced, top quality chocolate is never hard to

sell! Purdy’s is 100% Canadian owned, which we love, and has seasonal and year-round options with great profit margins.

ecoming a parent comes with a large set of responsibilities and more often, fundraising seems to be one of them. Between sports and activity teams, schools and local charities, there is always a cause that needs a financial boost. Having said that, with budget cuts everywhere, the need to fundraise is on the rise and we are here to help with a list of companies to turn to for assistance, along with some DIY ideas too.

Rocky Mountain Flatbread Everyone loves pizza, especially one that is healthy and delicious! Rocky Mountain Flatbread is already a local fave, making it easy to sell their frozen pizzas easily and quickly. They also offer school hot lunches and fundraising evenings in their restaurants.

Now go get that money!

Fundraising magic How about a magic show? This one comes fully

Western Direct Fundraising Western Direct Fundraising is a local company who loves helping you reach your goals. They offer a wide variety of unique gourmet food products such as cheesecakes, flatbreads, pies and much more. They also offer sales incentives to keep you motivated!

equipped with everything needed for a splashy event, including world class entertainment, lights, sound, and backdrop! With three decades in the biz, John Kaplan provides a lucrative show suitable for all ages.

DIY it! Hold a carnival They take some effort, but a carnival is a great idea for

Creative Tea Towels Custom designed tea towels are beautiful

fundraising items and also make great gifts! Your own drawings are printed onto high quality tea towels, which are finished with a border and your school or team crest/logo. This is a great way to commemorate a year and enjoy custom artwork while raising funds!

Future Fundraising No group is too big or too small; Future Fundraising takes pride in working with organizations at all levels. With an exclusive selection of gourmet cookie dough, cheesecake, and chocolate products, these options provide large profit margins for your group. Emily Press Labels Raise money while shrinking the size of your lost and found! These modern and useful labels are great for the whole family, and each purchase garners 20% commission back to your organization.

a large organization, like a school, to make a substantial profit. Divide and conquer! Assign each class a different station.

Run a good, old fashioned carwash We love this idea because it’s fun, requires little preparation, and it gets the kids involved directly.

Create a community recipe book Collect favourite recipes, publish, and sell! Entire families get involved and kids will love passing on the details of their favourite treats and meals. And if you really want it easy….Crowdfunding Crowdfunding, which is essentially asking people for donations via the Internet, has become increasingly popular and can be quite effective in its simplicity. There are many websites happy to host your project, but the general concept is pretty much the same across the board. You create a profile and intro to your project with images and even videos. The goal is to create a compelling story that will engage donors.

Jan/Feb 2016



Playing with Numbers STEM made fun by Sheryl Gray


utcher, baker, candlestick maker. What did you want to be when you grew up? Once upon a time, the choices were more obvious: teacher, doctor, firefighter, or mail carrier. Today, ask friends what their job titles are and their actual work duties may not seem so straightforward.

STEM is the acronym for learning in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math. The 21st century has been largely about innovation and quick development of the knowledge and skills to take us into the future. Some have been quick to adapt to technology and are eager to share their enthusiasm with tomorrow’s bright minds. Happily, STEM has been a fast study in developing children’s programming that is engaging and educational. “Young children don’t have particular set logic yet. When presented with a problem, they have the unique perspective of a completely open mind and can come up with workable solutions,” says Sarah Baldwin, vice president and director of sales, marketing and communications with BrainSTEM Learning Canada. “In a turn of roles, kids have an opportunity to help their parents by sharing their completely different way of thinking.” STEM programs and activities can support kids in developing the skills to use their talents for creative problem solving. Opportunities for handson experimentation provide new experiences to discover strengths and interests, and pique further curiosity and learning. Solutions may come in the form of writing code, building robotics, and testing and/or proving hypotheses in the process. Supplied with technology, equipment and materials, kids can use their open mindsets to explore, try and learn. “Our programs are not about memorization: it’s not just the ‘what’—we want kids to learn the ‘why.’ STEM programs for children as young as toddlers are creative and engaging; as reflected in our motto, ‘free your mind,’ ” says Zahra Rasul, co-founder of novoSTEM. “The opportunity to instill growth mindset in very young children is a gift. By secondary school it’s too late to learn how it all fits together.” STEM is viewed as an economic driver for this century. The STEM job market is a growing rapidly, and to stay current in most fields, a good understanding


of technology is required. Encouraging complex problem-solving skills in preschool age through elementary school may help to promote interest in non-traditional jobs in technology and manufacturing, along with an understanding of what these professions are about. Many students may not yet be prepared for these newer career streams; in particular, girls may be more likely to veer away from math and science by the time they reach secondary school. Opting out of these subjects in favour of languages and arts limits choices for post-secondary study and careers. Providing equal opportunities to engage in STEM programs as an alternative to traditional preschool settings and afterschool activities may help to equalize gender ratios in thriving new professions. “Enrollment in our STEM programs leans towards boys, perhaps 60-40 per cent. When we participate in public events, we see equal interest from boys and girls coming to check out our displays,” says Baldwin. “We also have more participants who are children of engineers or technology-based professionals, as well as from families who are more focused on academics and career than sports and recreation.” A 2011 Statistics Canada study of young university graduates found that despite women representing the majority of graduates, women are less likely to choose a STEM program of study, regardless of mathematical ability. Of students graduating from STEM programs, women accounted for only 23 per cent of engineering graduates and 30 per cent of math and computer science graduates. Parents worried about pushing kids too far into left-brain or right-brain activities and limiting development can breathe easy with STEM programs. In many programs, science and arts are brought together, with thought that the creativity of art is necessary to fuel innovation. STEAM is a variation with “Art” officially in the mix, and other programs such as DIGIVATIONS include both art and movement as components of their broader STEM programming. Interested in setting your child’s mind free? STEM programs are popping up in traditional park and recreation settings, through post-secondary institution offerings for youth, and in newer STEM-specific centres. Available for toddlers through to teens, these new programs are offered as ongoing curriculum sessions, day camps, and one-offs for professional development days and birthday parties.

Local STEM Programs BrainSTEM Learning Canada Located in North Vancouver, the centre offers programs for ages four to six, seven to 11, and 12 to 14. An ongoing schedule of six-week programs, such as robotics, are available, along with March break camps and pro-d day programs.

novoSTEM novoSTEM opens in the west side of Vancouver in January, 2016, with planned expansion in Vancouver and the North Shore. The centre offers Tech Toddlers for ages two to three, Pioneering Preschoolers for ages four to five as well as school-age programs. Girls in STEM is available for ages five to eight, as well as birthday parties and science fair-style presentation opportunities.

Gearbots Makerspace Adds an “A” for arts to STEM to provide STEAM programs such as Gearbots Makerspace: Robotics, for kids age nine to 15. The program is offered in various locations, including Port Moody Arts Centre, University of the Fraser Valley in Chilliwack, and EcoDairy in Abbotsford.

Byte Camp Byte Camp offers afterschool programs in various British Columbia city public schools, as well as summer camp on Vancouver Island. The activity calendar includes video game design and a range of animation programs.

Bricks 4 Kidz This experienced-based educational program is offered in locations across the Lower Mainland and beyond. Lab-focused exercises use LEGO® bricks to “learn, build and play.” Theme-based programs are offered through weekly programs, birthday parties, and in-school events.

Science AL!VE Based out of Simon Fraser University, this not-for-profit offers camps, weekly programs, and special interest clubs in Burnaby and Surrey, with a focus on community outreach to Aboriginal populations, inner-city and girls’ programs.

DIGIVATIONS DIGIVATONS offers creative classes and camps combining science and art in Tsawassen. Weekly programs are also offered through the Corporation of Delta with LEGO®, rockets, robots and NASA materials for creative activities and building.

TechUpKids Check out these coding camps and workshops for kids, with instruction using Scratch to learn basic coding and build-first programs and webpages. Jan/Feb 2016



Is IB for Your Child? International Baccalaureate Program by Laura Grady


t’s an education model that has been around for over 50 years, but the International Baccalaureate program (IB) is gaining momentum in BC. The program’s focus on developing compassionate and critical thinkers is growing in popularity as more schools in BC, both private and public, adopt its intercultural learning approach.

What is the International Baccalaureate Program? The IB program was first established in the 1960s. Developed in Switzerland by blending elements from various national school systems, the original IB program was created for high school students who moved around internationally and wanted to attend university. This “curriculum without borders” translates into any language and prepares students for university in countries around the world. The program is now found in over 140 countries and has expanded to include both primary and middle years programs. The IB program in BC was first established in the public system at the high school level and there are currently 27 high schools, 19 middle schools and 13 primary schools in BC offering the IB program with a further six candidate schools. The IB program encourages students to be more active in their learning, and class time goes beyond note taking and memorizing. There is a focus on not just finding out what the right answers are, but finding what the right questions are too. Inquiry-based learning is key in the IB classroom. “Through the IB program, we want to create a better world through education,” explains Martin Jones, middle school principal, Mulgrave School and Vice-Chair of BC Association of International Baccalaureate World Schools. “IB is a well-rounded liberal arts program that encourages students to strive for excellence and to help others through community service. IB offers a holistic education. The program wants students to be the best and finest they can be.” Students take time to understand cultural views and perspectives and are taught to see themselves as members of a global society. Diploma Program IB is best known for their high school diploma program. This intense program is taken in a student’s final two years of high school. Essentially, the IB Diploma program is a university-prep with several post-secondary schools transferring IB credits towards first-year courses. Not for everyone, this intellectually challenging program takes dedication and time, requiring students to take six courses, including a second language course, and a

theory of knowledge course; complete a 4,000-word essay (a two-year major intensive assignment that prepares students for university research papers); and participate in co-curricular activities under the areas of creativity, action and service. All the hard work can pay off, as many top universities like to see the IB program on a student’s transcript. Primary and Middle Years Program The main goal of the primary years program (PYP) and the middle school years program (MYP) is to create a thirst for learning. The role of the teacher is not only to give students information about the world, but also help them understand the world in which they live. The classroom is student-centred and there is a focus on how the students learn rather than what they learn, with the teacher seen as a facilitator. “Our students develop methods of inquiry so they are able to ask questions and think critically. They don’t just learn something; they seek to understand why they are learning something. Students discover ways to apply new knowledge in a meaningful way,” says Jones. The IB program believes that what a student learns now may be irrelevant in 15 years, but the process by which they learn will carry on throughout their lives. Both the PYP and MYP teach a second language and require some community service and are designed for students of all academic abilities and interests. Added to this learning style is international mindedness. IB works to prepare students to become active, caring, engaged learners who participate in the world around them. Becoming an IB School There are more schools joining IB each year. Before a school becomes an official IB school, all its teachers are trained in the official framework, and the school completes a rigorous application process. After they’re authorized, they receive ongoing training, support, and regular evaluations. Most private schools offering the IB program fall under continuum schools (pre-kindergarten to grade 12). When implemented successfully, the IB program is done equally well in public and private schools. Benefits of IB Through the IB programs students “learn how to learn.”They are encouraged to try different approaches to learning and take responsibility for their own method of learning. “IB students develop high thinking skills,” explains Jones. “There is a real interest in learning. Because we explore different ways to learn, over time students are much more critically reflective of themselves. They accept feedback and realize there is no one right answer.” IB presents students with a framework that enables students to make practical connections between their studies and the real world. Learning is based on six trans-disciplinary themes: Who We Are; Where We Are in Time and Place; How We Express Ourselves; How the World Works; How We Organize Ourselves; and Sharing the Planet. These themes are designed to get students thinking beyond themselves and works on the development of the whole child as an inquirer, both in the classroom and in the world. For more information on the IB program in BC visit


Primary Years Program Schools

Stratford Hall

Island Pacific

Aspengrove School

New Westminster Secondary

Aspengrove School

West Bay Elementary School* westbay

Hugh Boyd Secondary

Britannia Secondary

NorKam Secondary

King George Secondary* School kinggeorge

Carson Graham Secondary* School

Pacific Academy

Brockton Preparatory School Capilano Elementary School* Cypress Park Primary* cypresspark English Bluff Elementary, IB Candidate school) Glenlyon Norfolk Meadowridge School Mulgrave Independent School Queen Mary School* queenmary Southridge Junior School Southlands Elementary* southlands St. John’s

Middle Years Program Schools Abbotsford Middle School Aspengrove School

Lord Roberts Elementary* Meadowridge School

Dwight School Canada École des Pionniers École Gabrielle Roy

Port Moody Secondary portmoody R. E. Mountain Secondary www.remountainsecondary. com Richmond Secondary

Brockton Preparatory School

Mulgrave Independent School

Carson Graham Secondary School*

Rockridge Secondary* rockridge

École André Piolat

Southridge Junior School

Garibaldi Secondary

Sir Winston Churchill Secondary

École des Pionniers de Maillardville

St Johns School

Glenlyon Norfolk

Seaquam Secondary

Stratford Hall

Highland Secondary School Highland

Stratford Hall

École Gabrielle Roy Elsie Roy Elementary School* Glenlyon Norfolk

Diploma Program Schools Abbotsford Secondary

École Jules Verne École Victor Brodeur

Meadowridge School Mulgrave Independent School

Semiahmoo Secondary semi

St. John’s School West Vancouver Secondary* westvancouver

* Many public schools are also offering the IB program now. Check out these schools in your own or neighbouring district

Jan/Feb 2016 13


New BC Curriculum How learning is changing in BC by Heidi Turner


f you have a child in school, you may notice changes to the curriculum over the next two years. The British Columbia Ministry of Education, along with input from a variety of groups including the British Columbia Teachers Federation, academic experts, and school district administrators spent three years redesigning the curriculum to allow for a more personalized learning experience and to balance core competencies. So what does this mean for students? The BC Government hopes it means students will be more engaged in their learning and have more control over how they learn. The new curriculum is designed to foster concept-based learning, to encourage understanding of big ideas, and to develop educated students who can learn and think critically, make independent decisions, and are capable of independent decision-making. There are benefits for teachers too, as they navigate the needs of all children to create an inclusive classroom. “They [teachers] will have the flexibility to use content as a vehicle to learn instead of as the means to an end,” said Erin Kline, MEd, MBA, Assistant Head of Teaching & Learning at Fraser Academy. “This will inspire creativity and the use of more project based learning; which will provide teachers with the opportunity to meet the needs of diverse learners.” This means classrooms could move away from textbooks and move towards technology-based learning. It could also mean a move away from report cards and grades based on percentages. At least one school district—the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows district—has given elementary school teachers the option of doing away with report cards and replacing them with reporting conferences, in which teachers, students, and parents discuss the child’s needs, goals, and progress. Flexible, Personalized Learning Despite the new curriculum, some things, of course, don’t change. There’s still a focus on the basics, including reading, writing, and arithmetic. But in addition, students will focus on critical thinking, collaboration, and communication skills. Lesson plans will be personalized, so students can learn about core subjects in ways that are related to their interests, whether those interests include robot building, skiing, or carpentry. The move to personalized learning reflects an understanding that not all students learn at the same speed, in the same ways, and in the same


environment. Students and teachers will develop learning plans based on the individual goals, interests, and needs of the learner. Flexible timing may also be provided to allow students who need a little more time on certain topics. “Flexible learning is at the heart of the refined approach and it will help teachers tap into the passions and interests of individual students,” the Ministry of Education said in a press release. “Students can learn about core subjects while doing projects related to their interests, such as music, hockey, or dinosaurs.” Part of that flexibility includes modified and/or adapted programs to accommodate students who have special learning needs. Among the accommodations for students are assistive tools and technology, extended time to complete assignments or tests, and allowing for learning standards from different grade levels, depending on the students’ capabilities. New Perspectives In addition, the new curriculum includes Aboriginal perspectives—such as the history and legacy of residential schools—and content focused on the history of Asian and South Asian immigrants, such as the Chinese Head Tax. Although Aboriginal content has been integrated into specific courses in the past decade, the new curriculum includes Aboriginal perspectives throughout the entire learning journey. “It is vital that Aboriginal history is included in our school curriculum to educate our youth on Aboriginal culture and ensure the legacy of residential schools is not forgotten,” said John Rustad, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation in a written statement. Core Competencies According to the Ministry of Education’s website, the curriculum was changed after experts from around the world advised that more emphasis needed to be placed on concepts, competencies, and processes. Furthermore, the website notes that the existing curriculum is highly prescriptive and has too many objectives to cover. The new curriculum is based on a “know-understand-do” model that focuses on what students will know, what they will understand, and what they will be able to do when they have finished learning a particular concept. Core competencies—the intellectual, personal, and social/emotional competencies that the curriculum focuses on—include creative and critical thinking, communication skills, and social awareness and responsibility. “The new curriculum will help ensure students have the skills they need to turn their dreams into reality in our constantly changing world,” Education Minister Mike Bernier said in a written statement.

But the new curriculum doesn’t ignore the fundamentals. There will still be a focus on literacy and numeracy, meaning students will still be taught to understand, analyze, and apply important concepts and processes. And the same subjects will still be taught in school—students will still take math, science, language arts, and social studies classes. Teachers are enabled to develop cross-curricular ideas and themes, so that students may learn about a topic in language arts that has relevance to their social studies projects. “This new focus reflects the realities of the modern world, where information is at our finger tips, and jobs are dynamic and ever-changing,” said Travis Thielmann, MEd, Department Head of Science, and Team Lead of 3C Thinking at Fraser Academy. “Students don’t need to memorize large amounts of information that they probably can find on the internet. Instead, they need to learn what to do with the information available, and how to collaborate, think critically and be creative as they face the challenges of today’s world.” Planning for the new curriculum involved 150 teachers on 20 curriculum teams. A draft of the kindergarten to grade nine curricula was posted for review in October, 2013, and resulted in more than 1,200 pieces of feedback from teachers, experts, and the general public. To assist teachers and school districts in implementing the new curriculum, the Ministry of Education has allocated $1 million for training this school year and $100 million in dedicated time to help teachers prepare. Teachers will receive two additional professional development days for the 2015-2016 school year, which will be devoted to learning the new curriculum. It is not yet clear how changes to the curriculum will affect provincial examinations, graduation requirements, or acceptance to post secondary institutions, which is part of the reason why the secondary school changes are being rolled out later. It is also not clear if other school districts will do away with traditional report cards, so some details still require clarification. The new curriculum is already in the process of being rolled out throughout elementary schools. For the 2015-2016 school year, use of the curriculum from kindergarten to grade nine is voluntary and will become official in the 2016-2017 school year. For grades 10-12, the curriculum is voluntary for the 2016-2017 school year and will become official in 2017-2018. One thing is for certain with the new curriculum; students, teachers and the government are all dedicated to enhancing the learning experience of each child in the school system and much change still lies ahead.

Jan/Feb 2016 15

field trips

Who doesn’t love a field trip? A day away from the classroom gets students active and engaged, providing valuable learning experience. We have come up with some fresh, local destinations sure to please teachers and students alike!


Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art The Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art offers unique and flexible education programming for students K-12. Visit the gallery to learn how all humans are connected through nature and art. Their talented staff and dedicated volunteers will guide each group through storytelling and inquiry based learning. The transformative power of cultural treasures and Indigenous knowledge will engage students to cultivate a greater awareness of the interconnectedness of all things.

639 Hornby Street Vancouver

Kidtropolis provides children, families and caregivers a fun, unique and very realistic educational environment, which allows kids to do what comes naturally to them: role-play! Their target is to provide entertainment experiences in a family focused environment. These would include realistic experiences as a firefighter, police officer, restaurant owner, news reporter, homemaker, actor, dentist, doctor, veterinarian, airplane pilot, grocery store clerk, and more. By blending reality with entertainment, Kidtropolis provides an authentic and powerful developmental experience, preparing kids to understand and manage their world.

Unit 110 - 5940 No. 2 Road, Richmond

Phoenix Gymnastics Bring your school, preschool, daycare or group to Phoenix Gymnastics for an hour of fun, fitness and the fundamentals of gymnastics! Watch your children experience the excitement of participating through fun games, interactive circuits, trampoline and the ever popular foam pit. See them challenged on vault, bar, beam and floor. Support your PE curriculum with a visit to their gym for an hour or a series of classes.

4588 Clancy Loranger Way, Vancouver

Cheakamus Centre Established in 1969, Cheak amus Centre is an overnight field school and environmental studies facility located on 165 hectares of ecological reserve in Paradise Valley, near Squamish. This centre is owned by the North Vancouver School District and offers a wide variety of experiential, environmental, and cultural programs to children and adults from the Sea to Sky corridor, Lower Mainland, and beyond.

2170 Paradise Valley Road

Royal BC Museum Educators! Join the Royal BC Museum’s online learning community through the dynamic Learning Portal. On the Learning Portal, learners anywhere in BC make meaningful connections with British Columbia’s natural and human history through the Royal BC Museum and BC Archives. Pathways and Playlists allow museum staff and educators to share knowledge and make the process of learning visible. Click and connect at

675 Belleville Street, Victoria

16 16

Sea to Sky Gondola The Sea to Sky Gondola’s Higher Education - 885 Meters higher! Sea to Sky Gondola seeks to transform the educational experience. Their curriculums are designed to meet the BC’s Ministry of Education’s prescribed learning outcomes and to enhance traditional curriculums by bringing education to life. Sea to Sky Gondola is excited to have students dive into the unique Sea to Sky Gondola world of science, engineering, wildlife education, and cultural studies.

36800 Hwy 99 Squamish

Vancouver Lookout The Vancouver Lookout is striving for an A+ in Higher Learning with their specially-designed curriculum for Vancouver School Field Trips. Their programming has been developed by a qualified teacher and a Vancouver Lookout staff member and is structured in accordance with course specifics as outlined in the province of British Columbia curriculum. A valuable range of topics includes social studies, tourism, visual arts and business studies. Instruction in each runs about 1.5 to 2 hours. The best part? Recess with a view is built-in!

555 West Hastings Vancouver

Gulf of Georgia Cannery The Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site, located in Steveston Village, offers a variety of interactive programs, activities, and tours inside a unique heritage setting. Kids of all ages can explore, share, be inspired and have fun, all while learning about the past, present and future of Canada’s west coast fishing industry.

12138 Fourth Avenue, Richmond

Jan/Feb 2016 2016 17 17 Jan/Feb


Financial Literacy Teaching Kids the Value of Money by Kathryn Mendelcorn, Money Coach


oney is an important tool in life. Despite all the words and emotions we attach to money, we need it for virtually everything. Learning about money and how to use it doesn’t often come from formal education, instead stemming from school, parents, or perhaps being self-taught along the way. Parents are the most influential teachers a child will ever have when it comes to finances. Yet, often, parents are overwhelmed about how to teach their kids about money. They don’t feel confident in their own money management and therefore, delay teaching their kids. Why do parents need to teach kids about money? A child’s future will be significantly affected by how the child’s parents use money on a day-to-day basis. Modeling by observation from someone they trust is one way for kids to learn, but the best way to learn is by handling their own money. Having a tangible connection with the purpose of money allows kids to make their own choices and have challenges and successes in managing their own finances later in life. Starting early is best—this is when children’s minds absorb the most and when habits and family values are developing. It is easier to teach a toddler than a teenager but it is never too late. Learning how to manage money is a life skill, and just like swimming and catching a ball, kids need practice. So, how do we teach them? Use cash. Studies show people spend about 20 per cent more when using plastic (either debit or credit) than cash. There is actually a pain centre in the brain that activates when cash is used. Not as engaging, plastic yields no such hesitation or pain (until the bill shows up!). Kids need a visual to understand the value. Provide allowance. Give your children a weekly or bi-weekly allowance, consistently. Provide them with very clear guidelines as to what they are expected to cover with their money. Let them make their own mistakes. As parents, this is often the hardest part. However, money management is an experiential skill, meaning we have to do and experience to learn. That’s why there are loads of personal finance books out there and yet Canada still has the highest consumer debt load in its history. Kids need to learn (and a lot of adults too) that money is finite. Once it is gone, it is gone. This takes practice, and sometimes pain. Goal setting. It’s never too early to start thinking about what’s important and how to get there. Emotion drives decision, especially when it comes to saving


What to teach at what age Ages Two-Four • • • •

Count and identify coins Teach the difference between needs and wants Show the concept of savings and self-control Exchange of money: Let them hand the money over and receive the change, then count it! • Teach trade: Exchange toys or visit a library • Gratitude: Discuss things they are grateful for Ages Five-Seven • Make change: Practice handling money at the store and increase numeracy skills. Maybe use the calculator to add what is going into the grocery cart! • Building the GISS Vision Bank to divide money: Giving, Investing, Saving and Spending (Build a bank book from Zela Wela Kids) • Make wish lists or set goals to learn delayed gratification • Offer a regular allowance and tell kids what they are responsible to purchase with their money • Open a bank account for your child • Track their achievement (use a ladder, a mountain, or a thermometer as a visual!) Ages Eight-12 • Learn about percentages (interest rates and tips at restaurants) • Educate about the cost of things: Kids need to be involved in purchasing bigger items • Create a simple budget • Show how to make wise shopping decisions. Ask: Do I really need this? Does it fit with my goals? Will I have money for what I really want if I buy this now? • Think of the power of compound growth in investing • The truth behind debit and credit: Explain the differences and show them a bill • Entrepreneurial thinking: Get your child making money!

and spending, so the key is to inspire or motivate children towards saving for something they really want. Connect their money to a purpose. Have your kids create a wish list and write down the price for each wish. This will put the power into their minds if they want to commit to getting that product or experience. It’s no longer on the parents’ shoulders. Be supportive. As kids grow in a warm and positive environment, they can learn from their mistakes and build self-confidence. Be patient when they want absolutely everything. Remember, whining for stuff does not mean your children are ungrateful for all the blessings they do have; they are subject to media consumerism as much as adults. As parents, you can learn how to handle their wants and use the moment to teach. Just say NO! It sounds simple, but as every parent knows, it’s sometimes the most difficult word to utter. However, “no” does not mean “we can’t afford it.” This sends an incongruent message, especially if you are spending money later on something else. Instead, get kids involved in family goals. This way you can say, “We are choosing not to spend our money on this item so that we are able to do (insert activity) on our family vacation”. It shows your kids that how money is spent is a choice and there is an impact to each decision. Remember that teaching the skill of money management takes time and practice. Just like you tell children hundreds of times to brush their teeth, you will be reminding them how to set goals and make choices in how they manage their money. Kathryn Mandelcorn is a Certified Money Coach and provides mentoring and transparent financial advice for achieving stress-free finances. She teaches effective and sustainable family budgeting by aligning money management with values and goals.

Jan/Feb 2016 19

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Jan/Feb 2016 21

wcf news >> #LEVELTHEFIELD Now more than ever, our country seeks to be more inclusive in all aspects of life. In an effort to spread inclusivity throughout the world of spor ts, viaSport has created #LEVELTHEFIELD, a movement that encourages equality in gender, the LGBTQ2+ community, accessibility, and diversity. The initiative will operate in phases, with phase one being gender equality on the field, with coaches and officials, and board members and executives who impact the sporting world. “The Gender Equity #LEVELTHEFIELD campaign represents a positive and important step in creating a stronger, more equitable sport system for all British Columbians,” says Honourable Peter Fassbender, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development. #LEVELTHEFIELD will provide a series of interactive tools, templates, workshops, and dedicated funding to support more than 70 sport partners, community leaders and advocates, to implement gender equity policies and action plans.

>> Kids Write for Kids Writing Contest We all know that employing creativity is vital to developing and sparking imagination. We also know that early literacy and exploration of words can help children find new ways to express themselves and explore ideas. Unfortunately, there are few opportunities for children to share their writing, but no longer! The Kids Write 4 Kids contest, run by Ripple Digital Publishing, is a literacy initiative for Canadian children in grades four to eight. Winners have their manuscript developed into an ebook and then sent to the printing press. Once the book is printed, it is sent to the school to sell for fundraising opportunities, making the Kids Write 4 Kids contest a full circle of community contribution. Winners from the previous year also help judge the contest the following year. Although there is no monetary prize, all funds raised go to the winner’s school, encouraging classrooms across the country to participate in building literacy while simultaneously earning funds to support future school programming. Get writing and enter before March 31, 2016!

>> Windermere Secondary Leadership Program Wins! Preserving the earth is an issue prevalent in the news, and many Canadians are taking steps to ensure our planet flourishes for future generations. Windermere Secondary Leadership Program (WSLP) from Vancouver has been selected as Earth Day Canada’s (EDC) 2015 Hometown Heroes Group Award-winner thanks to their efforts to preserve the planet. Throughout the years, these students have launched campaigns to save local resources and launch environmental initiatives to improve their community. In particular, the WSLP held three major community events, including a Climate Change Conference, the annual Earth Day Parade and Celebration, and a film screening of two environmentally focused films. “The dedication and leadership shown by the WSLP students is inspirational, and opportunities are created for significant engagement throughout the entire community,” says Deb Doncaster, President of EDC. The Hometown Heroes Group Award winners receive a $10,000 cash prize to support their work, with the WSLP being presented with their award on Earth Day, April 22.


>> Burn Fund Centre Fundraising Our first responders are vital to protecting our community and they routinely put their lives on the line to save others. In particular, firefighters are at risk for burns that are life-altering for both the responder and their families, as well as those who fall victim to fires and other burning incidents, which often require extensive medical treatment. The BC Professional Fire Fighters Burn Fund and See the Change Productions have now launched an Indiegogo campaign to support the costs of a new Burn Fund Centre, which will open in March, 2016. The current centre is at maximum capacity and renovations and extensions are vital to continue offering care for burn victims, since burns often require time-consuming treatments that necessitate stays of a month or more at the centre. This also means families need to find places to stay to support their loved ones, and the new Burn Fund Centre is answering the call. The centre will provide patient and family referrals, accommodations, informational programming and more, all to support burn victims. Donate today to make the new centre a reality.

>> Children’s Book Awards There is nothing more important than ensuring that children have the gift of literacy and the love of a good book. Thankfully, Canada has many local authors and illustrators who offer tales, tricks, and pictures that delight all ages. It’s been an exciting time in the literacy world, as the winners of the 2015 Canadian Children’s Book Centre Awards were recently announced. The prizes offered more than $145,000 in prize money, with funds going to both illustrators and authors of children’s books. Although there were many prizes given out, some of the major awards include the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award given to author Jonathan Auxier, who took home the $30,000 prize for his middle-grade novel, The Night Gardener (Penguin Canada). Auxier also won the Monica Hughes Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy. Of course, many other prizes were given out, all to support future writers and illustrators. In total, seven awards were given out in November, with amazing reads for the whole family. To see what other books made the list, visit the Book Centre website and head to your nearest bookstore or library!

Jan/Feb 2016 23


f you have a child in the education system in Delta, BC, then Neil Stephenson already has an impact in your household. His role as Director of Learning Services for the Delta School District offers him the opportunity to positively influence the lives of thousands of children in the Lower Mainland across the 31 schools within the district. A former teacher himself, Neil is a relatively recent west coaster, but his impact as a WestCoast Dad has already cast a wide net. Born in England and raised in Calgary, Neil was destined to be a lifelong learner himself. He obtained two undergraduate degrees from the University of Calgary, one in education and the other in the arts, before going on to get his Masters in Curriculum and Instruction. Neil spent most of the next ten years teaching at a school in the city, where he learned plenty about the world of children and education. “What I came to love in my time in the classroom was the creativity that’s possible,” said Neil. “Education is far more interesting and creative than I thought going in.” The school in which he worked allowed Neil to explore those creative teaching opportunities and see how unique approaches allowed students to learn in new and interesting ways that could be adapted to suit children with different educational needs. Eventually, Neil met his wife, got married and had a child, which inevitably changes one’s life goals and needs. When his wife’s parents eventually retired to the Sunshine Coast, regular trips to explore British Columbia life were now part of the Stephenson family routine. “Once they [in-laws] moved out here and we did regular trips to see them, it convinced us we wanted to be there,” said Neil. With a love for the outdoors, not to mention the ability to explore the region year-round, Neil leapt at the chance to move to Delta for an alternative educational role in innovation for education. Working in educational innovation allowed Neil the chance to pass on all his creative classroom ideas to impact future students. Now, as Director of Learning Services, Neil is able to take his passion for creative teaching tools and apply that to other classrooms. “Basically, I support teachers in anything from curriculum to teaching ideas to assessment practices to technology,” he said. “Basically, anything that centres around teaching in a classroom, this is the department that coordinates that.” He enjoys watching his work go from a unique concept to an effective teaching tool that reaches children with all different learning needs. This excitement grows with the implementation of the new BC curriculum, which Neil sees as offering opportunities too all different kinds of learners. “There’s so many opportunities for kids to think outside the box,” he says of the new curriculum. These days, Neil has a new outlook on the world of education, as he and his wife raise their five-year-old son, Jack. Jack recently started kindergarten, which as all parents know, can be a revelatory experience for any parent, much less one

dad westcoast

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in the education profession. “I’m now entering into the education profession in a different way,” Neil said. “I see how those decisions I make play out on the parent side. It’s given me a helpful new lens into what parents experience, what comes home and communication with parents.” Despite being relatively new to the area of the Lower Mainland, Neil and his family remain certain that it is the place they want to call home. “It’s been nothing but positive,” Neil said of his move. “We absolutely love life on the west coast.” But a little part of Calgary still sticks with the Stephenson’s, which Neil says is evidenced in their continued joy for beach-side selfies in the middle of winter, something impossible on the other side of the Rockies. “Even in the middle of winter when it’s rainy and grey, we love the winter. I get life from that,” Neil said. His family spends most of their time exploring the new area they call home. Self-professed outdoor addicts, Neil has recently taken up paddle boarding, which coincides nicely with his new crab trap that he employs while out cruising the ocean. He’s also a member of a nearby sailing co-op and has taken up mountain biking, all to fuel his zeal for the environment and community. And while Neil has his own outdoor excursions, they usually involve his wife and son too. The whole family can often be found exploring the nearby forests and hiking local trails. No matter if he is on the local trails or in the classroom, despite a long career in education, Neil obviously has a passion for the business of learning; a passion that has only been heightened as he continues in his career and grows his family. “I love teaching for the relationships and the connection with kids; the ability to add value to another life and be able to mentor and invest in other people in that way,” he said. Through his unique scope and creative attitude, he enjoys reaching beyond the contemporary means of teaching and instead, thinking outside the box with fresh ideas that engage children and help them to learn in a way that is catered to their own individual needs. This means a future where children have interesting, stimulating learning opportunities while ensuring that fundamental skills, like literacy and numeracy, remain on the forefront if importance. It is impossible to separate our work and personal lives, as so much of one impacts the other. In Neil’s case, his role as an educator is what perpetuates the manner in which he not only does his job but also in how he showcases the world to his son. Neil’s amiable openness is the common denominator that spells success, both inside and outside the classroom. “I came into teaching with that disposition, a willingness to try things,” he said. “A good classroom is one where student thinking is at the core.” With Neil Stephenson at the helm, not only are Delta-based children getting insight and education but also an education in possibilities and all that can be achieved with a little bit of deep thinking.

Neil Stephenson innovation, creation and education

By Kelly S. Thompson

“I’m now entering into the education profession in a different way. I see how those decisions I make play out on the parent side. It’s given me a helpful new lens into what parents experience, what comes home and communication with parents.”

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wcf feature

New Year! Fresh Start!

Visit the Healthy Family Expo for great ideas for busy families


by Angela Santoro & Kay Protheroe, co-producers of the 3rd annual Healthy Family Expo at the Vancouver Convention Centre on March 6th, 2016

s busy parents trying to juggle home, work, and kids, we know it often seems impossible to eat well and get enough exercise with limited budget and time. On the quest for this elusive balance in 2016, we’re dropping resolutions in favour of taking small, manageable steps toward healthier living. Stocking up on portable healthy snacks and finding new ways to make active living fun are two great ways to start!

Portable Healthy Snacks – Try stocking up on fresh items once a week that are little-hands friendly (like baby carrots, grapes and string cheese) and separating them into individual portions in reusable containers, like Colibri’s reusable snack bags from And when you’re running low later in the week, dip into your supply of healthy pre-packaged snacks. Our favourites include fruit pouches and owlies from Love Child Organics, allergen and gluten free apple oat bars from FreeYumm, and coconut clusters and garden chips from Hippie Snacks.


Come sample and shop for these and hundreds of other healthy products at the Expo on March 6!

• Be one of the first 500 people in line at the Expo to get a loaded reusable gift bag

Fun Active Living – If you make a game out of physical activity so your family has fun, you won’t even notice you’re getting exercise! Our family favourite is a child-led scavenger hunt that can be done any time, any place, with kids of all ages. Wherever you happen to be—walking around a city or hiking a local trail—write out a list with your child of five to ten things he or she will hunt for, tailoring it to their ages and abilities, then hunt for items on their list! Families can also work up a sweat in the Expo’s Active Kid Zone with a giant inflatable hamster ball track, 30-foot rock wall, run bike and sportball areas, and a fire truck bouncer.

• Note that Bobs & LoLo are performing at 11am and 12:30pm, and Jessie Farrell is up at 3pm

Visiting the Expo – Here are some top-secret tips for family fun at Healthy Family Expo 2016: • Buy 2-for-1 tickets online to save money and time using promo code WCF241 • Be one of the first 200 people in line to get a free child pass to the Sea to Sky Gondola

• Sample hundreds of healthy, tasty treats in the Whole Foods Market Zone and London Drugs Health Zone and bring cash to take advantage of show shopping specials • Test-drive a range of Toyota hybrid vehicles on site • Stash your loot in a stroller and park it in the Active Baby Stroller Parking while playing • Visit the Seventh Generation Baby Feeding & Changing Lounge to have a rest and try out samples of Free & Clear diapers and wipes • Have your family photo taken at the WestCoast Families booth to enter the cover contest! Learn more at


Kid-free Events for Mom & Dad!

More to see at the Healthy Family Expo

Dirty Dancing–The Classic Story On Stage Queen Elizabeth Theatre, January 12-17 The classic story on stage is an unprecedented live experience, exploding with heartpounding music, passionate romance, and sensational dancing. 855.985.5000 | Children the Heart of the Matter Bell Performing Arts Centre, Surrey, January 15-16 The Children the Heart of the Matter (CHOM) conference brings together those involved in the care and education of young children to raise awareness and knowledge of child care and early childhood development services, family resource programs and more, through professional development, networking, and sharing of info and resources. Keynote speaker is Dr. Adele Diamond. PuSh Festival January 19–February 7 One of Vancouver’s signature events, the PuSh Festival presents groundbreaking work in the live performing arts over a period of three weeks. Interrupting the Stigma: Putting an End to Size-Shaming UBC Robson Square, Main Lecture Hall, January 30, 12noon-1:30pm Free panel discussion in recognition of Eating Disorder Awareness Week (February 1-7) presented by the Provincial Eating Disorders Awareness (PEDAW) campaign. The panelists bring professional and personal expertise in the areas of weight stigma, body image, and eating disorders. Science of Cocktails Science World, February 4, 8pm-12am Explore the physics, chemistry and biology of some of your favourite drinks in ways you’ve never experienced before. Science of Cocktails is their signature fundraising event of the year, with proceeds going towards the Class Field Trip program for students in underserved schools across the Lower Mainland. Must be 19+. www.scienceworld.c/adultevenings Big Mouth York Theatre, Vancouver, February 11–21 The sell-out hit of the Edinburgh Fringe from one of Europe’s hottest theatre companies. He who picks his words well can turn the weakest argument into the strongest. All tickets from just $20! The 2016 Wellness Show Vancouver Convention Centre, February 12-14 The West Coast’s largest trade show is devoted to helping you and your family live a more balanced, holistic and healthy life. The theme for 2016 is Healthy Families. Expect to gain knowledge and easy, practical tips on health and wellbeing for everyone in your family— from the smallest to the tallest! Dance & Dine - A Salsa Valentine Place des Arts, Coquitlam, February 14, 4-7pm Add a little spice to your Valentine’s Day by joining the new Valentine’s-inspired, adult-only social event! Take part in a salsa dance workshop led by Place des Arts teacher, Lauren Taylor. Then come together with a complimentary Cuban-inspired tapas buffet. The dance floor will be open throughout so you can work on your newly acquired dance skills! $25 per person or two for $40 Winterruption 2016 Granville Island, Vancouver February 19-21 The West Coast’s favourite winter festival is back with the city’s best music, theatre, art, performance, and food. For more event information, holiday hours, or a full list of the shops and studios, visit the website. Vancouver International Wine Festival Various locations February 20-28 This event is an opportunity to learn about and enjoy some of the words finest wine, featuring tastings, pairings, educational seminars and culinary competitions. CKNW Orphans’ Fund Pink Shirt Day February 24 Wear pink to symbolize that we as a society will not tolerate bullying anywhere, anytime. Purchase your pink shirt or make a donation online. Proceeds go directly to many local organizations helping our youth.

Jan/Feb 2016 27

community Body Worlds - Animals inside out! Science World Ongoing until March 28 Animals Inside Out contains more than 100 specimens that have been painstakingly preserved by the remarkable process of Plastination. Examine the anatomical intricacies of familiar and exotic animals like giraffes, camels and octopuses. This exhibition is an unforgettable way for students to learn about animal science.

Family Day at PdA featuring a Powwow Dance 1120 Brunette Ave., Coquitlam January 24, 1:30-3:30pm Gather up the family to view three exhibitions and participate in several all-ages workshops based on the exhibitions’ media and subject matter! Artist in Residence Nyla Carpentier will also perform a solo Powwow dance, Powwow Expressions, a “Woman’s Fancy Shawl” dance. Admission is free.

Miniature Train Rides Ongoing from January 1–October 15, 11am5pm weekends 120 N Willingdon, Burnaby See, hear, and ride Miniature 1/8” scale Live Steam/Diesel/Electric train with over 3km of track! Book your birthday parties and private functions now. |

Family Literacy Day Various Locations January 27 Family Literacy Day was developed in 1999 by ABC Life Literacy Canada to celebrate adults and children reading and learning together, and to encourage Canadians to spend at least 15 minutes enjoying a learning activity as a family every day.

Hickory Dickory Dock St. Martins Hall, North Vancouver January 14, 15, 22 & 29, 7:30pm, 16, 23 & 30, 2pm & 7:30pm People and animals are going missing in this family friendly pantomime, and it’s up to Little Miss Muffet, brilliant detective, to find them! A rollicking romp with a wacky cast of characters based on all the classics and twisted into modern times.

Family Day at the Bill Reid Gallery February 6 1-4pm Engage future generations with First Nations Art at this drop-in event for kids ages 3-10! The program includes two stations provided by Gwaii Haanas and Parks Canada and families can take part in just one or both activity stations. Included with admission cost. | www.

Kid Swapmeet Cloverdale Fairgrounds January 23, 9am-12:30pm Kid’s toys and everything from baby equipment, clothing, games, books and so much more. 604.533.1970

Family Day Outdoor Treasure Hunt Hawthorne Park, 10513 144 St, Surrey February 6, 10-11:30am Experience an outdoor treasure hunt like no other! Geocaching participants navigate to specific Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates and then attempt to find the cache hidden at that location. After the hunt, visit the Partners in Parks booth for prizes and refreshments! Registration required.

Westminster Savings Family Day: Did Someone Say Puppets? Art Gallery at Evergreen February 6, 1-4pm Take this special Family Day weekend in amongst the fantastic works by senior high school students presented in the Emerging Talent exhibition–All Family Days are drop in and by donation. Family Fun Day at the Nature Park Richmond Nature Park February 6-8 Come to the Richmond Nature Park for some adventurous family fun! Explore the bog through special scavenger and treasure hunts. All ages are welcome. Admission is by donation. 604.718.6188 Raising Children in a Digital World English Bluff Elementary, 402 English Bluff Rd, Delta February 11, 7-9pm IB Candidate School, English Bluff Elementary PAC Presents Dr. Deborah MacNamara, Ph.D. Nuefel Institute Faculty Counsellor and Educator as she considers the digital revolution through the lens of developmental science, committed to helping adults help children reach their full human potential. Free. “Magnificent Melodies” VSO Elementary School Concert February 11-15, 10am and 12pm Melody is one of the most important building blocks of music. Learn about musical elements that make a melody magnificent through the works of master orchestral composers including Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, Wagner, and Ravel. elementary-school-concerts/

We can deliver WestCoast Families magazine free to your event! Email us at or call 604-249-2866 28

calendar Herbert Spencer School Swap Meet Ecole Herbert Spencer, 605 2nd Street, New Westminster February 13, 10am-2pm Out with the old, in with the new! Declutter and make money. Book your table now, $20 per table. Recyle, Reduce, Re-use. Everyone Welcome! 778-879-8902 The Vancouver Chinatown Spring Festival Parade Chinatown February 14, 11am During Chinese New Year, more than 50,000 people line the streets to watch traditional lion dance teams, as well as marching bands and dance troupes. Pounding drums and firecrackers help ignite the excitement. Love My Pet Microchip Clinic Delta Community Animal Shelter, 7505 Hopcott Road, Delta February 14, 11am-4pm Celebrate Love your Pet Day by having a $15 microchip implanted in your pet. Please call ahead to make an appointment 604.940.7111 Heritage Week 2016 Various Locations throughout Vancouver February 15-21 The week kicks off with the National Heritage Day designated by Heritage Canada, The National Trust. Hundreds of communities, large and small, enjoy downtown Main Streets with historic buildings.

The Dance Centre presents Discover Dance! Modus Operandi Scotiabank Dance Centre February 18, 12noon The talented young dancers of Modus Operandi take the stage for an exciting program of contemporary dance in the next edition of The Dance Centre’s popular noon hour series. The full company of 28 dancers will perform a diverse repertoire of works, and there will be an artist talkback after the show. Tickets start at $12. 604.606.6400 | 16th Annual Chutzpah! Festival Various locations throughout Vancouver February 18-March 13 Breathtaking dance, discerning theatre, hilarious comedy and globally-celebrated music highlight this year’s festival with world-class performances and workshops by international, Canadian, and local artists. Single tickets are $21- $36. Cammidge House Heritage Day Centennial Beach, off Boundary Bay Road, Delta February 21 Learn about pioneer life in Boundary Bay while enjoying tea and baked goods. Antique cars and tractors are also on display with employees wearing period dress. 604.224.5739 Boo! Surrey Arts Centre February 28, 2-3pm Start with some very curious characters, add some family-friendly dance and a touch of theatre, and you have Boo, a happy, giggly burst of clowning, circus and dance that will have the whole family smiling. Fast-paced and entertaining, Boo will take you back to childhood and rekindle your love of play. All seats, $12.50

Pet Lover Show TRADEX, Abbotsford February 27, 10am-6pm and February 28, 10am-5pm Western Canada’s largest go-to destination for all things pet-related, returns for its fourth year. Don’t miss the thousands of the latest pet products and services, educational seminars from top industry experts, and exciting live entertainment. For the first time ever, attendees can also bring their own well-behaved pet to the show.

Go, Dog. Go! The Waterfront Theatre, Granville Island February 27-March 20, check website for show times P. D. Eastman’s classic children’s book comes to life on stage in an exploration of movement, colour, and music. Join these lovable and goofy dogs in a whirlwind of action in a new family musical for ages 3 and up, or at a special All Ages performance for the little ones too. 604.685.6217

Healthy Family Expo Vancouver Convention Centre, East Building March 6, 10am-5pm Don’t miss the Healthy Family Expo, which will teach Lower Mainland families with kids aged 0 to 12 about small steps & simple solutions to healthier, more active, eco-friendly living. The event features 100+ exhibitors, shopping, food, a kids Activity Zone and a $10,000 Grand Prize Showcase.

Visit for more family friendly events this month! To have your event included in the WestCoast Families community calendar, please email your details to Go to to see more local and community family events in your area. Jan/Feb 2016 29

last look Lego math: It adds up! by Jodi Iverson

From preschoolers to teens, kids of all ages already love Lego, so why not use it to teach math concepts? Math might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of colourful Lego blocks, but once you really look at them, the possibilities are endless! Put those blocks to a new use with these easy ideas!

1. Problem solving- Which piece completes the rectangle?


2. Create a series- How many blocks should the next tower be? 3. Fractions- This model demonstrates one whole, three quarters, one half, one quarter and one eighth. Try adding and subtracting fractions with older kids! 4. Adding and subtracting- This model demonstrates simple addition! 4 + 8 = 12. Try subtracting too!

did you know? • Lego was founded in 1932 in Denmark in a small carpenter’s workshop. • The name Lego was formed by using the first two letters of the Danish words “Leg” and “Godt,” meaning “play well.” • There are so many variations of Lego math that we couldn’t fit them all on this page! Check out our website for more ideas.


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$ 99 each plus tax

For a limited time only. At participating McDonald’s restaurants in Canada. Product availability varies by restaurant. ®

©2016 McDonald’s


WestCoast Families January/February 2016 issue. Education, Field Trips and Fundraising!


WestCoast Families January/February 2016 issue. Education, Field Trips and Fundraising!