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The Local Guide for Active Urban Families

lead learning to

the future is bright

mom westcoast

Lotte Davis

january/february 2018

education | field trips | fundraising

Jan/Feb 2018


families westcoast

january/february 2018

• education • field trips • fundraising

on our cover...

Family Travel Spring Break Travel

Education Girls Learning Code

Education Not Making the Grade

Education ADHD at School





Field Trips Local Resources

Education Get Outside

Fundraising Ideas and Resources

Education Kids vs. Homework





Yvonne Nyala poses with Lotte Davis after her workshop in Kilifi, Kenya called I Want To Be.

from the editor 6 8 24 28 30

From Our Family to Yours Cool Finds WCF News Community Calendar Feeding Your Family Mastering the Smoothie

26mom westcoast

WCM Profile Lotte Davis Instagram: @westcoastfamilies

next issue march/april

• Family Travel & Adventure • Camp Guide 4

In the next issue of WCF... It’s CAMP GUIDE 2018 Part I: The comprehensive local guide to Sleepaway Camps in BC!

Call or email today to book ad space!


Jan/Feb 2018


from our family to yours

families westcoast

When I was growing up, I remember a new student coming to our school who had transferred from another in the district. It was a big deal to cross boundary lines, with applications and approvals to complete. Now the options for parents and kids seem endless: public and independent schools, specialty schools, learning centres, and homeschooling. More than ever, it’s important as a parent to educate ourselves about what is out there and what the best choice is for our kids. We’re proud each year to present our annual Education issue. As we do with each issue, we sit and plan each piece around issues and topics that we, as parents, are interested in learning more about. This time we are talking about Girls Learning Code, and why this is so important for the future of our economy and our kids. We explore the topics of no grades in school - why the decision has been made, and how it will work. We talk to local experts about students with ADHD and how they can be best supported in the classroom and at home, and we’re sharing what we learned about outdoor education and how many educators are recognizing the benefits of learning in nature. Education expands beyond the classroom too, and we know field trips are really important to the whole development of a child. We’ve got a guide in this issue with some great ideas to explore in your own backyard, and beyond. Schools don’t function now without some fundraising, and sometimes you just don’t want do another car wash! We have rounded up some great alternatives to earn some extra cash for the PAC, field trips, or sports equipment at your school. We hope you discover as much from this issue as we did. Always keep learning!

Managing Editor Andrea Vance Assistant Editor Bianca Bujan Contributing Editor Jodi Iverson Art Director & Layout Krysta Furioso Administration Jennifer Bruyns Accounts Receivable & Payable Jennifer Brule Advertising 604.249.2866

Publisher & Managing Editor

Published by National Families Network Publisher: Andrea Vance For distribution inquiries, please email For submissions to our community calendars, please email

wcf presents

Family Literacy Day

To share your feedback, please email

Children: The Heart of the Matter

January 27

January 26 & 27

A day to raise awareness of the importance of reading and engaging in other literacy-related activities as a family.

Bell Performing Arts Centre, Surrey

Contributors Bianca Bujan, Melissa Sariffodeen, Ada Slivinski, Jodi Iverson, Nic Enright-Morin, Michele Kambolis, Claire Newell, Ashley Milbury, Jennifer Bruyns, Alyssa Bauman All contents copyrighted ©. Written permission from the publisher is required to reproduce, quote, reprint or copy any material from WestCoast Families Mailing address: 1215-C56 St. Box 18057 Delta, BC V4L 2M4 T 604 249 2866 | F 604 676 2802


In the next issue of WCF... Where will you go this year? In the March|April issue of WestCoast Families, we partner with Claire Newell again to present the annual Family Travel & Adventure Guide! Whether you’re into globetrotting or staycations, this issue covers it all: from weekend adventures to treks around the world.

Magazine advertising enjoys one of the most engaged audiences and we have a targeted demographic that’s perfect for family travel.


travel &adventure Call or email today to book ad space!


Jan/Feb 2018


westcoast finds Epson EcoTank ET-2750 All-inOne Supertank Printer With school project season in full swing, a good colour printer is a must. This sleek super-printer holds an incredible amount of ink - enough to print up to 5,200 pages before a refill is needed! Using revolutionary cartridge-free printing technology, this printer uses easy-to-fill, supersized ink tanks. It also features wireless printing capabilities, and offers auto 2-sided printing. | $380

Jordan and all the Favourites

Hannah Zip-up Hoodie by Ably Apparel

How would you feel if your friends told you that it was wrong to love what you love? Through genderneutral characters and illustrations, this story follows Jordan as they discover that true friendship should include differences, learning, misunderstandings, forgiveness - and a whole lot of favourites. Written by Emily Goldsmith, a Burnaby-based elementary school teacher, this story is a great way to prompt important conversations about gender equality with young readers.

Expertly crafted using a Filium-activated material that is water resistant, stain proof, and odour repelling, this hoodie is what dreams are made of for active parents on the go. Not only are Ably’s products durable, stylish, and virtually indestructible, but they’re also eco-friendly and nano free. Good for you, and good for our planet - a perfect fit for west coast adventurers. | $18 | $162

Vitamix A2300 Blender Not just for whipping up smoothies, this Vitamix powerhouse can make a vast variety of healthy snacks and meals. In fact, this blender comes with a Simply Blending Cookbook so you can explore the wide world of blending and all that this masterful machine can do. Complete with Variable Speed Control, Pulse feature, and built-in wireless connectivity that will adjust blending times based on container size, this blender will practically run itself! | $550

Brave Active Leggings by Matletik Activewear Born with the goal of empowering women to continue living an active lifestyle during pregnancy, this activewear brand for moms-to-be is stylish and super-stretchy, so you can wear it from your first peekaboo bump to your final weeks of pregnancy without compromising comfort. Unlike those must-toss, saggy, post-pregnancy leggings, you can wear these Brave Active Leggings before, during, and after baby arrives. | $95


family travel

Spring Break Travel

Time-Saving Tips For Travel With Kids By Claire Newell of Travel Best Bets


ith Spring Break quickly approaching, many parents are getting ready for their annual family holiday. Surprisingly, people don’t realize how much effort and organization it takes to get kids out of the house and ready for school, let alone to plan and pack for a family vacation! To save parents some time and hassle; here are a few new Spring Break tips and destinations to simplify this stressful time. Time your trip. Plan your departure so it coincides with sleep schedules or nap times. If your flight is longer than 4 hours, aim for a late-night or red-eye flight so the kids can sleep during what can be a tedious time for a cranky child. Your kids will be happier sleeping through the flight, and you will be happier knowing that you saved some money. Travel tip: overnight flights are typically 10–15% cheaper than daytime flights! Don’t bring everything. Pack compact items that you may need for your infants and toddlers in your carry-on or in the car. However, some things are going to cost more to transport than they would to just rent or buy at your destination. Larger items, like a highchair or stroller, are going to be expensive to fly with or will take up valuable real estate in your car. I recommend calling the hotel beforehand to see if they already have what you need available for guests. If not, check if there’s a local donation center nearby, this way you can purchase the basics that you’ll need there and then donate them when you leave. Pack healthy snacks. Kids tend to get hungrier more often than adults so a supply of snacks is always good to have on hand. Healthy snacks are all relatively easy to eat on the road and will help stave off hunger-induced irritability. This is especially valuable when sightseeing in an expensive city or in a secluded area. For flying, I suggest giving kids something age-appropriate to help equalize the changing pressure; older kids tend to like gum or candy (I give my own kids lollipops) while infants should be given a bottle or pacifier. Keep them occupied. A smartphone or tablet loaded with movies and games can go a long way on a plane or in a car to prevent the kids from thinking too much about being confined. I suggest introducing them to a kid-friendly Netflix show before you leave, then you can download episodes you know they’ll like to watch offline and keep them entertained. Take proper ID & travel documentation. Ensure that you know which documents you need in order to travel to your destination. Most places require a passport, birth certificate and/or notarized permission letter if only one parent is traveling, or if you’re bringing one of your kids’ friends. Be sure to check the required passport validity and note that it’s usually counted from the day you plan on leaving, not the day you arrive. You don’t want the trip to end before it even begins, so look into this well in advance of your departure date. Book early. Many airlines, hotels and car rental companies run out of space before they ever put their services ‘on sale’, especially during a popular time like Spring Break. I have seen many people end up in a real jam because they waited too long - and when it comes down to the wire, they end up spending twice as much to get where they want to go.

Where to Go? Not sure where to go? Here are some great family-friendly Spring Break destinations to consider:

Oahu, Hawaii This Hawaiian island has something for everyone in the family. From surfing and relaxing on the beach, to high-end shopping and dining or hiking Diamond Head, there’s always plenty to do! Although Hawaii can be on the expensive side with longer flights, that is exactly what’s going to ward off the partying college kids looking for a cheap getaway, allowing for some quality family time in a tropical paradise.

Southern California While everyone else is cramming into Disneyland, head over to any of the amazing spots along the Southern California coast, such as Santa Monica, Santa Catalina Island, Joshua Tree National Park or San Diego. I would recommend asking your older kids to research what they want to do and see, then rent a car and tour around them all. This is a great way to keep teenagers interested and involved!

Tulum, Mexico Unlike Cabo or Cancun, Tulum doesn’t have quite the same party reputation during the spring, making it a great tropical destination for families. Of course there are serene beaches to relax on, but there’s also a network of underground pools that open up into dozens of natural clear-water swimming holes as well as the impressive Mayan ruins to explore. Tulum is very eco-friendly, so expect to be relatively off-grid, but don’t let that put you off as the hotels and restaurants are top quality. You can even stay in Pablo Escobar’s old beachfront mansion that has since been converted into a trendy art-filled boutique hotel (perfect for teens that are fans of Narcos).

New York, New York Manhattan doesn’t normally jump to mind when you think Spring Break, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a great option! For those with older teens in tow who aren’t thrilled about being stuck in a beach town with their families, New York City could be a welcome and exciting change. Again, ask them to research what they want to do and then follow their lead, they will probably have a good idea of what’s new and cool anyway!

Claire Newell is a travel expert, author, travel consultant on Global BC and president of Travel Best Bets by Jubilee Tours and Travel. Jan/Feb 2018



Girls Learning Code Building Technology, Building Our Future by Melissa Sariffodeen, Canada Learning Code


id you know that women pioneered the earliest discoveries of computing as far back as the 1800s? Women have helped lay the foundation for the technology industry including helping to send humans to the moon, creating wireless technology, and developing lots of computer software that powers our day-to-day lives. Yet, despite being early leaders in the field, women are underrepresented in the sector they once pioneered.

works, and engage them to create online and access the jobs of the future.

In Canada, women hold less than 25% of all technology roles, and research suggests the gap is only getting worse. Not engaging women in the creation of technology is a huge problem. If we’re going to solve the world’s biggest problems and prosper economically in the digital world, we need technology that is built by a group as representative as the ones using it. We need to give all Canadians - and especially women and young girls - the skills, confidence and opportunities to understand how the world around them

Parents have an important role in helping to spark early interest in computing for their kids - especially their young daughters, by encouraging them to play with technology and embrace failure.

According to a recent TD Economics Report, the potential causes for the under-representation of women in STEM fields are many and complex. Girls and women face many layers of systemic biases throughout their lives and careers and this starts as early as primary school. At an early age, the attitudes of young girls and women towards STEM and their perceived aptitude in subjects like math are shaped and the results can be pervasive.

But teaching kids to code is about more than just helping children to secure future employment opportunities and understand the technology they’re using. At a fundamental level, it improves problem-solving and critical thinking skills.

STEM By the Numbers: How Participation of Women Compares in STEM Education and Jobs

59%% 39% 66% 59 % 23 % 30 15%

of university graduates represented by women of university graduates aged 25-34 with STEM degree are women

of university graduates in non-STEM programs are women

of female STEM graduates are in science and technology programs

of female STEM graduates are from engineering programs

of female STEM graduates are from mathematics and computer science programs

of engineers in Canada are women, and the most significant under-representation of women is in computer science.

Businesses are 15% more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians if they are in the top quartile for gender diversity.


The best way to encourage more women to go into STEM industries is to keep drawing attention to it.

Having more women in STEM programs and jobs can be directly linked to a country’s competitiveness and economic prosperity.

The growth in digital jobs has outpaced the overall economy in the past two years by over 4 to 1, leading to a strong demand of 182,000 skilled ICT workers by 2019. Women are still incredibly under-represented in the technology sector in Canada, despite making significant headway in many industries, such as accounting, law, and medicine.

3. Coding helps kids understand the world around them. We teach biology and mathematics to help kids better understand the world around them. In an increasingly technological world, knowing the basics of how computers communicate – and how to engage with them – is fundamental to a well-rounded understanding of the world.

4. Coding can help change the world. Learning code empowers kids to use technology as a creative tool, to find solutions and overcome challenges that people face every day.

5. Coding is fun! Learning to code inspires creativity and curiosity by giving kids the opportunity to experience the satisfaction and thrill of building something of their very own. At Canada Learning Code, we think it’s important for youth to learn to code for a many reasons:

1. Coding is a superpower. Learning to code allows kids to build, not just consume, the technology around them – video games, websites, robots, and more!

2. Coding helps kids to discover new ways of thinking. Learning to code helps kids develop other crucial and transferable skills, like computational thinking – allowing them to tackle problems outside the realm of coding in new and innovative ways.

Melissa Sariffodeen is the CEO and Co-Founder of Canada Learning Code. She is a celebrated digital literacy advocate who is dedicated to ensuring that women and youth have the critical skills, confidence, and opportunities that they need to thrive in our increasingly digital world. She is a graduate of the Richard Ivey School of Business and is currently pursuing her Master’s in Education Policy at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. She taught herself how to build websites from scratch using HTML when she was 11 years old and has been coding ever since. To learn more about the programs available through Canada Learning Code including workshops for girls, visit

Jan/Feb 2018



Not Making the Grade Will we be scrapping school grades in BC? by Ada Slivinski


arents who raised an eyebrow or two when they heard their child’s letter grades would be optional until high school certainly weren’t alone. For a generation who grew up comparing As, Bs and Cs, it can be tough to imagine report cards with no letters or percentages where the focus on preparing students for the way they will be evaluated in the work world and personal lives after graduation. Instead of letter grades, “curricular competencies” for each subject, along with three “core competencies” are to be assessed for each student and only need to be sent home in a formal report once per year with the idea being that more informal communication between parents, teachers and students should be occurring frequently throughout the year.

“In school, many of us procrastinate and then successfully cram for tests. We get the grades and degrees we need to get the jobs we want, even if we fail to get a good general education.” ~ Stephen Covey The rationale for this change is that letter grades don’t give a very full picture of a student’s learning, progress and overall wellbeing at school. “At the heart of the definition of the cross-curricular competencies is the principle that education should lead to the development of the whole child,” reads the BC Ministry of Education website. “In a world of growing diversity and challenge, schools must do more than help students master the sets of knowledge and skills acquired through the standard subject areas. They must prepare students fully for their lives as individuals and as members of society, with the capacity to achieve their goals, contribute to their communities and continue learning throughout their lives.” Through a provincial consultation process, three core competencies were identified: communication, “the set of abilities that students use to impart and exchange information, experiences and ideas, to explore the world around them, and to understand and effectively engage in the use of digital media”; thinking, “the knowledge, skills and processes we associate with intellectual development”; and lastly personal and social, “the set of abilities that relate to students’ identity in the world, both as individuals and as members of their community and society,” according to the ministry website.

rationale is that teachers are to be viewed more as educational coaches helping students achieve their academic goals, rather than solely evaluators. Discussion around the change started when the BCTF first proposed provincial exams be no longer mandatory in order to keep kids from dropping out of school. The argument is that tests can create stress and anxiety for students and test scores don’t necessarily reflect a student’s competency or progress accurately. Many experts agree that self-evaluation is actually the most precise way to gauge where students are at in terms of their learning.

“You know, I’m fairly intelligent, but I don’t think my grades reflected that. ~ Barry Sanders, Professional athlete Educational experts have also brought up the problem of evaluator bias, wherein some teachers are more likely to give higher grades, others lower grades, and still others tending to stay in the middle range. Asking students to judge their own knowledge and progress can help ensure grading stays more consistent across different teachers, classes and schools and proponents argue that it’s actually more similar to how students are evaluated in social settings and in the work world.

Rather than focusing just on academic achievements, evaluating students across the three core competencies helps shift focus to how they are doing as individuals, relating to others and finding and achieving their purpose in the world.

I talked the issue over with my husband, an elementary school principal, and he explained it this way, “When you give people job reviews at work, you’re often asked to complete self-evaluations as a part of the process and the employer’s review takes place as more of a conversation. In the same way, I would never say to you, ‘Honey, that dinner was a 80 out of 100’; the new evaluation system is much more similar to how students will be evaluated after school.” It’s based on the idea that all learners are different and may (or may not) come to understand concepts at different times.

The Ministry is asking teachers to get away from the language of “never, sometimes, usually, always” to evaluate these competencies and instead use the terms “emerging, developing, proficient and extending.” Part of the

Critics of the new system say it’s a free-for-all doomed to fail because of the lack of structure and too much subjectivity on the part of the students. However, the Ministry has still emphasized that teachers are still to be the


“standard-setters” and help students measure their progress and achievement against a common rubric.

“Educating the mind without heart is no education at all.” ~ Aristotle As a part of the new curriculum, students will also start using more technology in the classroom and in earlier grades. While their parents might remember one hour in the computer lab per week, many kindergarten kids now have daily access to iPads, rolled in to their classroom on a mobile cart. The move is controversial, especially since a recent study of technology in classrooms around the world actually showed children with a higher percentage of technology in the classroom actually perform worse on tests.

In a letter to parents in early November, BC Education Minister Rob Fleming said that the Ministry has added an additional year of transition time to implement the new educating the curriculum for students in grades 11 and 12, with the changes going into effect in September 2019. Provincial Literacy Graduation Assessment will be moved to align with the new curriculum implementation, with the first assessment scheduled for January 2020. However, the Provincial Numeracy Graduation Assessment will be taken for the first time this upcoming January as previously planned, with another session in June 2018. As these changes happen, universities are adjusting their application process accordingly and soon we may see selfevaluation play a larger role in post-secondary evaluation as well.

Did You Know? Four school districts in BC are already successfully working with a no-grade system: Maple Ridge (2013), Comox Valley (2013), Surrey (2013), and Sea to Sky (2017). Proponents argue that moving from letter grades to anecdotal reporting deepens engagement and the soft skills needed to solve problems in the real world. Case supporting no-grades in school: • Grades tend to diminish students’ interest in whatever they’re learning • Grades create a preference for the easiest possible task • Grades tend to reduce the quality of students’ thinking

Jan/Feb 2018 13


ADHD at School Bursting the bubble with brain-based learning by Bianca Bujan


any of us have had those days where our minds are elsewhere. We try to focus on a task, but we are distracted by other thoughts. One of the differences between our daily distractions and the disorder known as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), is that we can eventually shift our focus back to the task at hand. We can consciously force ourselves to focus, while those with ADHD cannot. Imagine if you were stuck in a bubble. Your body aching to move, and your mind distracted by every sight and sound that catches your attention. Eric Pahima, a young adult with ADHD, calls this state ‘bubble trouble.’ He explains that when someone with ADHD is having an episode of ‘bubble trouble,’ it feels as though “your body is going in different directions uncontrollably. You try to hold still but you can’t. The environment pulls you in different directions physically and mentally, and your energy needs to be exerted.” This state of hyperactivity, combined with an inability to focus, can present challenges for both the child with ADHD and their teacher in the classroom. On his inability to maintain focus when in school, Eric explains, “in the environment around you, fluorescent lights, the perfume from the person sitting next to you, every little detail grabs your attention and it’s hard to focus. You can’t focus on one thing, and then you get worked up.” The reality is, a child with ADHD just can’t be locked in a bubble. They need to move, and they need to have quiet to focus. For Eric, wearing headphones and listening to calming music definitely helps. ADHD is an invisible disorder. You can’t tell that someone has it just from looking at them, and diagnosis is not as a result of brain scans or blood tests. While it’s a brain-based disorder, ADHD is primarily determined through a stringent series of psychological tests. When evaluating a child, a clinician will host a series of interviews - with the child, with the child’s parents, and in some cases with their teachers as well, to gather information about the child’s symptoms and the severity of their challenges.


There are different levels of severity when it comes to ADHD. Symptoms can range from a child being easily distracted, to an inconsistency in work and behaviour, to a fidgety and restless demeanor, to a tendency to react quickly when upset or excited. While the disorder was originally known as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) in the past, it was more recently renamed Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) to include the hyperactive and impulsive side that many (but not all) children with ADHD experience. Once a diagnosis has been made, there are various treatments available to help manage ADHD, including educational programs, medications, parenting strategies, and school accommodations. There are local organizations that offer support, programs, and guidance for families living with ADHD, including Millennium Learning Advantage - a Vancouverbased tutorial centre designed to help students who are struggling to learn, and Fraser Academy - a leader in the empowerment and education of students with dyslexia and language-based learning differences, also based in Vancouver.

Gillian Liebrandt, Director of Millennium Learning Advantage, feels that it’s important to address the cause of the behaviour, not the symptoms. Her programs make a difference because they are designed to help each student based on their own unique needs. She says, “most children with ADHD are extremely bright, but struggle in school because quite often they are not processing information efficiently. They tend to shut down when they become overwhelmed, and then the ADHD behavior is displayed.”Through brain-based programs, Millennium Learning Advantage aims to target the weaker cognitive areas and processing skills that are not allowing the child to succeed. By doing so, their students have seen great results. Fraser Academy offers programs that focus on the executive function of the brain - or the ability to plan, organize, strategize, pay attention, remember details, and manage time and space - essential skills for being a strategic lifelong learner. In this model, organizational time is built straight into the school schedule, students are explicitly taught executive function skills, encouraged to think about their thinking, to pause and reflect, and to work through processes out loud. School programming such as this makes a big difference for a child with ADHD. Maureen Steltman, Head of School at Fraser Academy, believes that parents need to be their child’s biggest advocate. Her suggestion for parents: “Make sure your school is working to teach your child organizational skills, setting routines, writing down homework in agendas or calendars, giving breaks when needed, and providing appropriate cues and reminders. The use of noise reducing headphones can be considered to reduce distraction.” She also believes that “It is important for students to have a “go-to” adult with whom they can take their time and be supported with successfully tackling the school environment, academically and socially. This kind of trusting teacher-student relationship is very important for helping a student with ADHD to grow.” Children with ADHD aren’t trying to be disruptive or distracted during class. They are unable to control what is happening in their brains, and are often feeling just as frustrated by the symptoms of their disorder as those around them. As parents and teachers, it’s important to be consistent, use visual reminders and incentives to encourage the desired behaviours. Understand why it is they are struggling and what steps can be taken to help them focus in the classroom, and most importantly, keep a “disability perspective,” understanding that the child isn’t intentionally acting the way that they do. Parents and teachers need to work together to burst the bubble for children with ADHD and provide them with the support and guidance they need to succeed. For more information on ADHD, visit the Provincial Health Services Authority at, and for more information on the support programs available, check out Millennium Learning Advantage at, and Fraser Academy at

Jan/Feb 2018 15

field trips A day of learning outside the walls of a classroom is a refreshing way to get kids active and engaged while learning in a new environment. The Lower Mainland offers a wide variety of experiences, and we have curated a selection for every subject!

16 16

Abbotsford Bloom Tulip Festival You know Spring has sprung when the tulips are in bloom! Pack a tasty picnic basket, and enjoy a fun-filled day with the family in fields upon fields of flowers. Besides a covered picnic area, Bloom is also home to photo cutouts, a children’s play area, and of course, rows of rainbow-coloured tulips that are every bit as impressive as they are decorative.

Circus West Circus teaches a range of lessons about hard work, teamwork, trust and support, performance, and art. Plus, it’s a fun way to get exercise! Circus West offers 2 or 3 hour workshops that rotate students through several circus skills, such as juggling, trampoline, human pyramids, globe walking, and object manipulation.

Fort Langley National Historic Site

Kid Approved Destinations

Rising from the mist of the Fraser River, the palisades of Fort Langley stand tall. Inside the walls, rough-hewn timber buildings recreate the rugged 1800s, where Hudson’s Bay Company fur traders mingled with California gold prospectors, and First Nations interpreters told century-old tales. Feel the blast of the musket fire, pan for gold, and dress up to play a historic trading boss. Programs include hands-on activities, exploration of the Hudson’s Bay Company fur trading post, and interactions with heritage interpreters.

The Kid Approved Directory features family-friendly businesses in Surrey, Delta, and White Rock that embrace the essence of family-friendly, and offer products or services that cater to residents and vacationing families. For consideration, businesses must meet one of the three Kid Approved pillars: Is it fun? Is it educational? Does it promote a healthy lifestyle?

Jump Gymnastics Jump Gymnastics offers field trips that are designed with two goals in mind: to make it easier for teachers to meet and assess the new BC curriculum objectives, and for kids to have fun and feel successful while developing physical literacy. For preschools, and kindergarten and grade one students, field trips are offered during the school year, with an Instructor:Student ratio of 1:6, and classes are designed to meet the Physical Literacy curricular competencies in the new BC Curriculum.

Vancouver Maritime Museum The Vancouver Maritime Museum offers school programs for classes from preschool to secondary school. Programming is based on the Ministry of Education’s Social Studies and Science curriculum, and support the core competencies, essential learning, and literacy and numeracy foundations for each grade. Trained education volunteers lead small groups of students through hands-on and participatory activities designed to stimulate creative and critical thinking.

Tumbletown TumbleTown school groups are a great option for preschools, daycares, homeschoolers and elementary schools, offering lessons in patience and cooperation, improved listening skills, enhanced neural pathways, improved balance, strength, and coordination. Learn valuable social skills, and gain self-esteem, confidence, and a “can-do” attitude.

Langley Centennial Museum Langley Centennial Museum school programs offer a unique learning opportunity. Whether it is a program led by an incredible docent team at the museum, or a trip back in time to the Lochiel One Room Schoolhouse, or a visit by one of the professional instructors to your classroom, the result will be an engaging and highly educational experience.

Burns Bog Conservation Society Enjoy an interactive nature walk through one of the world’s most ecologically unique ecosystems: Burns Bog! Field trips to Burns Bog are a great way to link outdoor education with grade-specific curricular competencies. Field trips include content on plants and animals, habitats and ecosystems, biodiversity and species at risk, natural resources and First Nations, and threats and stewardship.

Jan/Feb 2018 17


Get Outside The Benefits of Outdoor Education For Kids by Nic Enright-Morin


ere in BC, we pride ourselves on being the ‘Outdoorsy Canadians’. But in our increasingly technology-driven lives, even in British Columbia, we are spending more time indoors. According to a study by Participation Canada, only 7% of 5 to 7-year-olds meet the recommended daily guideline of 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous outdoor activity. The good news is there is a growing movement to get kids outside – and not just in traditional bitumen playgrounds. All across the country, kids are getting involved in outdoor learning experiences. But what exactly is outdoor learning and how can it benefit kids? We’ve done the homework so that you can find out what outdoor learning experiences are available in our own backyard.

What is outdoor education and learning? Simply put, outdoor education is learning that takes place in the outdoors. This can be as basic as teachers getting students outside and learning about the natural environment on their doorstep, or as complex as an outdoor education residential experience, where students participate in activities such as hiking, climbing, canoeing, ropes courses and group games.

Benefits of outdoor learning experiences Experts and educators agree that there are a ton of benefits to taking learning outside. Studies show that outdoor learning has physical, mental, cognitive and social-emotional benefits for participants of all ages. Outdoor learning also helps kids to overcome adversity, enhances personal and social development, and helps develop a deeper relationship with nature. Studies also show that kids remember their experiences better when they learn outdoors. Emily Kalil, director of outdoor education at Camp Summit in Squamish said, “At camp, kids learn life skills. What I love is that those life skills are weaved and hidden inside a fun experience, like mountain biking. That experience isn’t just biking – it’s learning to persevere, it’s helping others, it’s compassion – it’s wonderful to watch.”


ECE and Preschools Over the last decade, the greatest growth in outdoor learning, has been in the rise of nature and forest schools, aimed at the 3 to 5-year-old demographic. Across the Lower Mainland, forest schools are popping up and instead of a traditional preschool experiences, they cater to what little kids do best – learning through hands-on play, getting their hands dirty and jumping in muddy puddles.

Outdoor Classroom Experiences In the public school system, outdoor education and the amount of time kids spend outside depends on individual teachers and their classroom curriculum. Hartley Banack, lecturer and coordinator of Outdoor Environmental Education at UBC, says that taking learning outside - even for nature walks or simple activities, has proven advantageous for everyone involved. “The benefit of classroom outdoor learning is it’s convenient, as students get out and about in their neighbourhood for very low or no cost, and it’s easily accessible.” Banack says that if you would like your school to get more involved in outdoor learning, one of the best ways is to contact your school PAC and see if they can help bring more outdoor education opportunities to your school.

Banack is also the founder of the Wild About Vancouver Festival (WAV), an annual free outdoor education festival, “Anyone who wants to get involved can – we’re very community driven.”

Independent Schools While many public schools do not have outdoor learning built into their curriculum, at independent and private schools, outdoor education is more likely to be embedded into the program. For example, at the Waldorf school in North Vancouver, kids from preschool to grade 12 spend time outdoors every day, no matter what the weather. Mary Henley, the Community and Resource Development Manager at the school said, “When Waldorf started over 100 years ago, research showed that outdoor play and experiences needed to be a part of the daily routine at school, so it’s always been a part of Waldorf education. That outside component is even more important now: we live in a world that is so based on digital and social media communication, something that is such a manufactured, unnatural way of communicating - but outdoor education is one of the ways that we can correct that imbalance.”

Outdoor Schools and Education Centres Across the Lower Mainland there are numerous ways for kids to experience outdoor learning. In Maple Ridge, the Environmental School Project is a public school that since 2008, has been taking most of its lessons outside. While this learning model is unique, there are plenty of other ways for kids to enjoy outdoor education opportunities. Conor Lorimer, Director of Operations and Education at Evans Lake said, “There are so many pathways to experiencing outdoor education. I think it’s important for people thinking about outdoor education to not limit the pathways. Different schools have different outdoor education programs, but if your school doesn’t have one, one of the benefits of our summer camp program is that anybody can sign up and get that experience. One of the special things about camp is how deeply social it is. Kids get to come and stay in cabins and really build a connection and learn together.”

Jan/Feb 2018 19

fundraising has become a way of life for most school parent groups, sports teams and community organizations. Today we have many ways to raise money, beyond chocolate bars and candles! We’ve gathered a few ideas to inspire you!

Art Cards by Kids Parents purchase their own child’s art cards with their art on the front and their name and age on the back. Perfect for the holidays, and birthdays!

Pizza Everyone loves pizza… especially when it’s from Rocky Mountain Flatbread. Parents love the fresh and healthy ingredients, and kids just love anything pizza! Rocky Mountain offers a frozen pizza fundraising program, or fundraising evenings in the restaurant, giving back 10% of food sales. Great way to have fun as a team and raise money too.

Magic Show Hire an amazing local magician to come to your school in the evening for a family magic show. There are several local performers like John Kaplan of Fundraising Magic, who will work with you to create a show that is family friendly, and provide materials you need to make it a success for your school or community group.

Plant sale Engraved Bricks This works well if you are building a structure, or public facility like a playground, park, or shed. Sell bricks or stones with permanent custom engraving in exchange for a minimum donation. There are many local businesses who provide this service.

Work with a local plant wholesaler, like West Coast Gardens, West Coast Seeds, or Windsor Greenhouse, to provide plants and flowers for pre-order. Each plant sold means dollars for your school or community group.


Creative Tea Towels


Student drawings are printed together onto one of our high quality 100% cotton tea towels. Finished with a playful border and the school crest/logo, these tea towels make memorable gifts and keepsakes. Whatever fits the memory of that class can become a treasured tea towel design.

A great way for kids to learn AND raise money. Work with teachers to develop age-appropriate lists of words for each class. Kids get the words ahead of time to practice, and solicit pledges from family, friends, and neighbours for each word they spell correctly. On spellathon day, you can award prizes for top spellers, top pledges collected, and a live spelling bee too!


Jan/Feb 2018 21


Kids vs. Homework How To Beat The Homework Battle by Michele Kambolis


omework battles. The tears, the tantrums, the scrunched up pieces of paper - and these aren’t just the kids’ reactions! Some of our most painful parenting moments involve homework power struggles. We fear it may be too much for them, or they’re not trying hard enough. They’ll fall behind their peers, they’ll get teased, bullied, fail, live at home well into their 30s, or worse. Homework is one of the biggest challenges parents face, and the frustrations are completely understandable. The following tips may just be what you need to avoid homework power struggles, and instead motivate and inspire your child to practice healthy homework habits. 1. Create a study space your child loves. A comfy upright chair, pencils that are actually sharp (trust me, I know the delays that come with failing to produce a sharp pencil!), bright highlighters, and tools that inspire creativity, a clock (critical for organizing time spent on tasks), messages to motivate (sticky notes with words of encouragement can do wonders) and fidget toys for the more easily distracted; all help to make homework time more inviting. If you can, create a study space that’s consistent and away from your child’s bedroom (their brain likely associates that space with play or rest). 2. Make a homework contract. Research shows that homework agreements created collaboratively with your child increases not only completion of the work, but also your child’s sense of autonomy (the key here is collaborative). When children have some say in the agreement, it delivers the message that you are available to support - not take over, what is rightly their learning process. Keep in mind, the contract should not be punitive or hinge on some kind of grand toy at the end of the semester.

Consider this a process that allows your child to be the CEO of their own learning, enlisting you as a board member to remind when the company learning stock is plummeting. When you develop your contract, outline what the role of technology will be, where phones and other distractions will be stored, how breaks will be scheduled and what your role is. Most importantly, work towards being available for encouragement and guidance, but don’t hover or take over (even though that feels easier at times). 3. Take care of the basics. A hungry, thirsty, or tired child is a child that cannot learn. With plenty of high density foods on hand, your child’s mind and body will be ready for the high mental demands that lay ahead. Also keep in mind that late night studying is inversely related to academic success. Encourage a schedule that ensures homework is completed early, leaving room for play, downtime and rest later in the evening. 4. Start with mindfulness. Mindfulness is shown to enhance academic performance - particularly in children with ADHD. It also decreases anxiety, which inhibits a child’s capacity to process information and to retain it. Start each homework session by simply closing your eyes together. Breathe low

Consider these resources to help your kids thrive at school and with their homework: Chi School works with the knowledge Little House Tutoring that the mind and body works together. offers a cozy, childTeachers integrate the technology of focused setting (they mindfulness, cognitive behavioral science, even have a dog!) and positive psychology to help children with a team of highlyto develop the core skills necessary for trained therapeutic learning success. By building self awareness, tutors. They specialize communication skills, emotional processing abilities, in the multisensory Orton Gillingham Method and problem solving capacities, Chi students become and cater to a wide range of learning needs. master learners. 22

and slow, and simply notice the thoughts and images that pass through your mind. This simple (but not so easy) act of observing one’s experience from a place of non-judgment adjusts the internal ecosystem towards a state of openness and calm. 5. Teach self-regulation. It turns out that homework success is about far more than focused attention. Self-regulation skills like managing distractions, sense of responsibility, goal setting, ability to self-reflect, selfmotivation, time management and choosing where homework is to be completed are all associated with higher homework success. So, focusing on self-regulation may be more important than focusing on the homework itself. Help your child discover which habits or tools are either helping or getting in the way of their success. Ask what keeps them motived, and perhaps more importantly, what robs them of their confidence. Most often, a child who repeatedly avoids homework is a child who feels anxious, deeply frustrated, avoidant, or afraid of not measuring up. Helping them process the emotions that act as a barrier to curiosity for learning. Instilling new actions towards change is perhaps the most powerful role a parent can have. 6. Turn to the professionals. If your child is consistently struggling with homework, if you’re not seeing progress, or if it’s affecting your relationship, it’s time to seek support. First, speak to your child’s teacher so they

understand what’s happening at home. Most often teachers are willing to make accommodations and work with you to ensure homework isn’t adding unmanageable stress to home life. Second, ask if your child can work with a support worker to bolster their learning skills while at school. Working with someone new not only helps your child cultivate new skills; it breaks the pattern of resistance that can develop at home. If your family is able, consider enlisting a tutor. The Lower Mainland has plenty of qualified tutors ready to lend a hand. Homework is not just unavoidable, it is desirable, an important part of children growing up. There are many ways in which an ordeal can become constructive, positive, and part of developing a healthy, happy future for these students of ours, those whom we call our kids. Michele Kambolis is a 20-year veteran child and family therapist, acclaimed author, and parenting expert. A MA/PhD (Cand.) in mind-body medicine, Michele combines her knowledge and passion for integrative healing to support parents and children through their challenges.

Jan/Feb 2018 23

wcf news >> Autism BC Opens an Inclusive Lending Library in Richmond

>> Vancouver Student Recognized in the HSBC Future Leaders Program

Thanks to Autism BC, a lending library has recently opened on Cessna Drive in Richmond, providing an inclusive space for children with autism and their families to enjoy the comforts of a library without the restrictions of a quiet public space. Autism BC members have unlimited access to books, DVDs, and games, and soon, the full library catalogue will be available online.

Celebrating Canada’s ambitious young students, HSBC and the Breakfast Club of Canada have selected students from across the country who have shown potential to shape the future of Canada.

It’s free to sign up for an Autism BC membership, and with that membership, comes a free library membership as well. Members throughout the province who live outside of the Metro Vancouver area can also access the resources available at the lending library by mail - free of charge. Items are sent by mail to participating families, and include a pre-paid envelope so the items can be returned by mail once the families have finished with the borrowed materials - a convenient way to include those families with autism who live outside of the Richmond area.

Ethan with special guest Col. Chris Hadfield, first Canadian Commander of the International Space Station

Of the seven students selected from around the nation, Ethan from Port Coquitlam was selected and recognized for the leadership skills that he has shown in his community. Ethan hopes to become a city planner so that he can help to make his community more eco-friendly, and believes that leaders “don’t just make the best of a situation, they make the situation better.” Also included on the list was Elizabeth of Vancouver, who aspires to be a Mechanic or the next Prime Minister of Canada. Each of the seven recipients received a paid trip to Toronto to attend the recognition event and honorees’ luncheon, and a $1,000 High Rate Savings Account (HRSA) from HSBC Bank of Canada to help the students save for their bright futures.

>> BC Women’s Hospital Foundation Launches New Website

>> Pink Shirt Day Focuses on Cyberbullying in 2018

For many families, it can be a challenge to find information on local charities that truly give back to the community. Thankfully, BC Women’s Hospital Foundation just launched a new website that features real-life stories of the patients and families whose lives have been changed forever. Whether it’s starting your own fundraiser to accept donations instead of birthday gifts, learning about ground-breaking research in women’s health, or getting a glimpse into their newly outfitted Newborn ICU with 70 private rooms – this new site has it all.


This year’s Pink Shirt Day focuses on the theme of cyberbullying, shared through the message of “Nice Needs No Filter,” which is displayed on the t-shirts and accessories available for purchase in support of BC’s anti-bullying programs. On February 28, 2018, you can get involved by making a direct donation to one of the anti-bullying programs in BC, or by purchasing a pink shirt for yourself and your family members to wear on Pink Shirt Day. During the month leading up to Pink Shirt Day, many local BC businesses are also donating partial proceeds from the purchase of Pink Shirt Day themed products. Visit the website to learn more about how you can get involved in this important initiative.

>> Science World BC Green Games Turns 10 Science World’s eco-storytelling contest, BC Green Games, is celebrating its tenth year! This learning-based program encourages environmental action by celebrating t h e g re e n a c h i e v e m e n t s o f participating teams, and awarding prizes to the winning changemakers of our province. To qualify, BC teachers can create a group of students and submit an action plan outlining what the group plans to do to make an environmental impact. In addition to sleepovers, workshops, and travel subsidies for field trips to Science World, each group has a chance to win up to $2,500 for their school’s green initiatives. During Green Month, all participating teams are invited to Science World for a free visit. The contest is open to both elementary and secondary students and action plans must be submitted by March 1st for eligibility.

>> T-shirts Created to Spread Optimism and Fund Mindfulness Workshops for Kids Local optimist, Gina Miller, has just launched a line of simple and powerful t-shirts to spread the word. Made ethically by a group of women in India, these t-shirts are being sold to inspire, cultivate and maintain optimism, and help fund mindfulness programs for children in grades K-12. Gina is a mother of three, a visual artist, a personal wellness coach, and a yoga lover. She feels that a sense of optimism must be felt to be believed, and by wearing the word for all to see, you are making a statement of posivity to the world. Gina is currently developing mindfulness workshops for kids to give them tools to effectively navigate their feelings and their outer worlds. Shirts are available for men, women, and children. To order and learn more, go to

>> Chi School Returns for Winter 2018 Developed by WCF community partner and contributor, Michele Kambolis, Chi School guides children through meditation, movement, and mindfulness, to boost their mood and engage both body and mind. Now there are more classes and locations to allow more kids to access these amazing programs. Chi Kids Vancouver Classes - Ocean and Crow Yoga - 1707 Grant Street, Vancouver. Tuesdays & Saturdays. Chi Kids Vancouver Classes - Yoga Buttons Studio - 2525 W Broadway, Vancouver. Thursdays Chi Kids Burnaby Classes - Artspace Children’s Art Centre - 4588 Hastings Street, Burnaby. Wednesdays and Saturdays During each 60-75 minute Chi Kids class, your child will learn how to master scientifically supported tools and skills for a stronger, more flexible mind and body. Each class incorporates mindfulness exercises, yoga flows, relaxing imagery, empowering group activities, gratitude practice and much more - all in the language in of play!

>> If you see a news piece, new program, or something noteworthy that we should be telling our readers about, be sure to let us know. Email us at Jan/Feb 2018 25

mom westcoast

Lotte Davis Proof That One Girl Can Make A Difference by Bianca Bujan


t the UN Women’s Conference in 2015, soon-to-be royal Meghan Markle made an impactful speech about gender equality and our need to not only make a change, but to take action now. She concluded her talk with this powerful statement: “Women need a seat at the table. They need an invitation to be seated there, and in some cases where this isn’t available, they need to create their own table.” Lotte Davis, Co-Founder of AG Hair, and Founder of the registered charity One Girl Can, is doing just that. She’s changing the world by providing young girls in Africa with a chance to sit at the table - or create their own table, through building new schools in some of the most poverty-stricken areas of Africa, educating young girls who live in towns where they are not normally


granted the gift of education, and mentoring young women to become the future leaders our world needs in order to make a global impact. Born in South Africa, Lotte witnessed significant violence and discrimination from an early age. Growing up in the apartheid era opened her eyes to the government-enforced racial segregation, and the great challenges that arose due to skin colour and gender biases. Refusing to reform to the lifestyle and philosophy that was becoming so rampant in their home country, Lotte’s parents moved their family to Canada. Although Lotte was only 9 years old at the time, she quickly realized how underutilized women were in society - how they were considered to be inferior to men, restricted from earning a living or competing equally with men - even in Canada. “I made up my mind very early on, that I was somehow going to be successful and independent myself,” Lotte shared on her resistance to conform to the status quo when she first entered the workforce. “I had been harboring this notion - this goal all my life that I was going to do something to impact gender inequality, and race is something that is extremely important to me,” she explained on her lifelong goal to do something about the discrimination she had witnessed back home in South Africa. In 1989, Lotte Davis and her husband John Davis, combined forces and started the now infamous hair product line, AG Hair, in the basement of their North Vancouver home. From the beginning, their company was focused on providing equal opportunities for their employees, giving back to their

“I knew that I needed to do it all again. I wanted more daughters, I wanted to see more girls succeed the way my girls had, and that really did become the model for my mission.” community and creating a line of naturally-derived hair products. When the success of AG Hair exceeded their financial goals, Lotte saw an opportunity to invest in her lifelong mission to create change and make an impact. Lotte still remembers the moment when she decided what it was she wanted to do to give back. It came to her after her two daughters had grown up and moved out of the house. One day, as she was cleaning one of her daughter’s rooms, she shares, “I absolutely broke down and sobbed for an interminable period of time, and realized that my role was coming to an end, and how much joy I had watching my daughters find careers that were suitable and purposeful and that actually made me realize that that was a model that I could replicate over in Africa. I already knew that I was going to start doing it, but I just couldn’t figure out how. That moment defined it for me, I knew that I needed to do it all again. I wanted more daughters, I wanted to see more girls succeed the way my girls had, and that really did become the model for my mission.” When asked why girls in particular were at the forefront of her initiative, Lotte responded, “I still feel today that there is no way globally that we can move ahead until we resolve gender and race issues. It is stopping the world from moving forward and evolving.”

on to paying careers. “At $500 a year, it was a staggering amount of money for a family that’s primarily on the barter system. Girls would be sent home for weeks - or months at a time because they couldn’t afford to stay in school. Missing chunks of school made it hard for them to keep up with their studies,” Lotte shared on her findings. Lotte started by building schools in Nirobe. After 5 years she had built 5 schools, but it wasn’t enough - she wanted to do more, and she wanted to do it faster. After working with an African NGO, she realized that she could never truly succeed unless she did the work herself. Lotte hired a project manager, started visiting Africa more frequently, and saw rapid progress as a result. Since 2008, One Girl Can has built 7 schools, awarded 368 scholarships, and hosted 15,000 mentoring and career-planning workshops. Lotte Davis is changing the world by proving that one girl can make a difference, and through contributing by sponsoring a girl in Africa, donating to help build a school, and encouraging your school to participate in the Grad To Grad program, you can help to make an impact too. To learn more about One Girl Can and how you can get involved, visit

In the African towns where One Girl Can has a presence, secondary education isn’t free. Through her research, Lotte realized that many girls couldn’t even afford to attend school, not to mention complete their education and move

Jan/Feb 2018 27

community 2018 Vancouver Small Business Information Expo Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreational Centre, Vancouver January 30, 8:30am - 3:30pm Looking for some inspiration in 2018? Head to the Vancouver Small Business Information Expo, where you can speak face-to-face with experts from over 50 different small business support programs, and participate in 4 free educational panel sessions. Sharpen your skills and learn from the experts at this must-attend trade show for small businesses in BC. Beauty and the Beast HUB International Theatre, Chilliwack January 10 & 11 (Previews), 12, 13, 18, 19 & 20, 7:30pm January 13, 14, 20 & 21, 2pm The classic “tale as old as time” tells of Belle, a young woman in a provincial town, and the Beast, who is really a young prince trapped under the spell of an enchantress. If the Beast can learn to love and be loved, the curse will end and he will be transformed into his former self. But time is running out. Gluten Free Expo Canada Place, Vancouver January 13 - 14 Sample and save on hundreds of gluten-free products, including perogies, pizza, and even beer! Between bites, visit the stages to learn from leading experts who will be presenting live throughout the weekend. Don’t miss Canada’s largest gluten-free event in Vancouver. Fertility & Adoption Expo Vancouver Convention Centre January 13, 10am-6pm & January 14, 10am4pm Connect with and learn from Canada’s leading experts in fertility, adoption, surrogacy, and more! Empower yourself with the knowledge and support you need to start or add to your family.


KidPreneur Market Day Semiahmoo Shopping Centre, South Surrey January 14, 12pm-4pm The creative bunch of hard-working kids enrolled in the Young Entrepreneur Learning Labs programs will have a wide variety of handcrafted products for sale, and will be ready to demonstrate their new sales and customer service skills!

An Intimate Evening With Jim Byrnes and Mainstreet Muze Deep Cove Shaw Theatre, North Vancouver January 26 & 27, 7:30pm See Juno award winner and legendary Blues musician Jim Byrnes with special guests Mainstreet Muze as they perform live in North Vancouver for a two-night run.

PuSh International Performing Arts Festival Vancouver and New Westminster - Various Locations January 16 – February 4 Featuring artists from 11 countries, the 14th Annual PuSh Festival showcases thoughtprovoking works from the intimate and immersive, to the monumental and spectacular. From theatre and dance, to music and film, the PuSh Festival has something for everyone.

INTO THE ARCTIC Exhibition Tour Vancouver Maritime Museum January 26 - March 25

Hot Chocolate Festival Vancouver - Various Locations January 20 - February 14 The 8th Annual Hot Chocolate Festival is coming! Hot chocolate makers will come together to create the wildest, most delicious flavours you can imagine, so go thirsty, and prepare to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Children Heart of the Matter Conference Bell Performing Arts Centre, Surrey January 26 & 27, 6:30-9:30pm Enjoy an evening with Dr. Scott Sampson who will be presenting on How to Raise a Wild Child: The Art and Science of Falling in Love with Nature. He will discuss how regular exposure to natural settings can help relieve stress, depression, and attention deficits, and can reduce bullying, combat illness, and boost academic performance.

Family Day at PdA! Place des Arts, Coquitlam January 21, 1:30 - 3:30pm Check out the January exhibitions, learn how to create accordion books, cut leaves from recycled fabric scraps to sew on to a growing fabric tree, create miniature mouse sculptures using walnuts and leftover fibre bits, create an abstract or figurative painting in 37 strokes or less, and more! Art fun the whole family can enjoy. Admission is free. Whistler Pride and Ski Festival Whistler - Various Locations January 21- 28 The 26th Annual Pride and Ski Festival will feature skiing, snowboarding, parties, arts and culture, and social events. Book early to save on accommodations and ski packages.

This exhibit encompasses over 50 Arctic oil paintings and 3 films from Trepanier’s 4 Arctic expeditions to the furthest reaches of the Canadian North. Its wilderness is so remote and untouched that many of its landscapes have never been documented before.

Carnaval Toonie Skate Bill Copeland Sports Centre, Burnaby January 27, 12:30pm-3:00pm Celebrate French culture with ice skating at Bill Copeland in Burnaby! The event will include ice skating, face paints, crafts and games - a great way to spend the day with the family! Family Literacy Day Various Locations January 27 This is a national awareness initiative created by ABC Life Literacy Canada in 1999 and held annually to raise awareness of the importance of reading and engaging in other literacy-related activities as a family.

calendar Model Railway Open House Maple Ridge Museum, Maple Ridge January 28, 2018, 1:00pm - 4:00pm The Dewdney-Alouette Railway Society hosts an open house on the last Sunday of every month throughout the year. Discover the world of model railroading and diorama building from the experts - a great family outing that appeals to all ages. Sleeping Beauty Dreams Main Stage at Surrey Arts Centre, Surrey February 10, 2:00pm In this contemporary look at a classic tale, humorous storytelling and whimsical puppetry awaken this sleeping princess as never before. Stay after the show to chat with the performers. Heritage Valentine’s Day Card Making Coquitlam Heritage Society February 10, 11:00am - 12:30pm Come to Mackin House and decorate Edwardian style cards for your Valentine, friends, or family. All supplies will be provided. Try the delicious sugar cookies from a recipe that originates in 1915! Open to families, youth, and adults. Registration is required. Mount Seymour Family Day Weekend Mount Seymour, North Vancouver February 10 - 12 To celebrate BC Family Day, children 12 and under and a maximum of two children per paying adult, can enjoy a complimentary lift ticket after 2:30pm for the duration of Family Day weekend. Restrictions apply so please check website for details. 2018 Children’s Arts Festival Richmond Cultural Centre February 12, 10:00am - 4:00pm Kids under 12 can immerse themselves in a wide range of hands-on workshops led by professional artists and performers. Dance the day away with the Big Easy Funk Ensemble, get down with the Blues Berries, be amazed with the ever-popular Magic 2 Go, get your sillies out with Tickle Me Pickle and create your way through the many kid-inspired Imagination Stations.

For the Love of Nature Campbell Valley Regional Park, Langley February 12, 11:00am - 2:00pm Celebrate nature with family and loved ones this Family Day weekend. Enjoy arts and crafts activities that expand your ability to observe and appreciate nature. Meet at the Nature House.

Derby Tales Round the Campfire Derby Reach Regional Park, Fort Langley February 17, 12:00 - 3:00pm Gather round a crackling campfire to bake bannock and listen to tales of nature and life in the wilderness. Bring a mug for hot chocolate, and enjoy the cozy campfire tales with your family and friends.

Family Day at the Carousel Burnaby Village Museum February 12, 11:00am - 2:00pm Beat the winter blues with some family fun including arts and crafts, entertainment, games and a spin on the classic carousel ride!

OURO Collective Scotiabank Dance Centre, Vancouver February 22, 12:00pm This young and dynamic collective is fast gaining a reputation for its cool hybrid movement, fusing hip hop, waacking, breaking and contemporary dance. Enjoy this dance performance for as little as $12.

After Hours Event at the Vancouver Aquarium Vancouver Aquarium February 14, 6:00pm - 10:00pm Discover the unique mating habits of aquatic life as guests learn how animals get down during this annual adults-only event. An intimate affair, the event will be open to guests 19 and older and cocktails, beer, and wine will be available for purchase throughout the Aquarium. Salt Water Moon February 15 - 24 Gateway Theatre, Richmond The beloved Canadian classic about love, loss, and reconciliation is daringly re-imagined by visionary director Ravi Jain. Catch this bold, lyrical interpretation of an acclaimed Canadian play at the Gateway Theatre this February. Note: this event is for ages 13+.

Happy Corner Parent Participation Preschool Open House Happy Corner Parent Participation Preschool, Vancouver February 24, 11:00am - 1:00pm Meet the teachers, see the space, chat with other parents and register your preschooler. Little ones are welcome too! Registration begins at 12:00pm, and first priority will be given to families who arrange a classroom observation prior to the Open House. Vancouver Pet Lover Show Tradex, Abbotsford February 24 - 25 Bringing together pet lovers with interests in all kinds of animals - from cat lovers and dog trainers, to rabbit agility experts and raptor keepers, you can see all things pet at the pet lover show.

If you’d like WestCoast Families magazine delivered to your event free of charge, please email your request to Jan/Feb 2018 29

feeding your family Mastering The Smoothie Secrets From Behind The Vitamix by Alyssa Bauman of Hello January! I don’t know about you, but I’m thrilled to have the holidays behind us. Thankfully, we’re done with allowing our kids to eat more sugar, and with the start of a new year, we can start with a clean slate - start fresh, and return to healthier eating habits. But where do we start? I love a good smoothie, and nothing could be easier to make. Not only does it taste good, but there isn’t a more efficient or faster way to pack in the nutrients, vitamins, minerals and superfoods. Mixing up some nutrient-dense magic at home is pretty easy. But as a mother of three, I’ve also heard my share of complaints. I constantly hear, “It’s too green, too icy, too sweet, too chunky, too thick,” and I get it, no one wants to drink salad. After 10 years married to my beloved blender, the Vitamix blending, creating and combining, here are my 8 essentials for making the creamiest, tastiest and healthiest concoctions EVER.

1. Use the freshest ingredients possible. Fresh fruits and vegetables will always taste better than older ones. You can tell when sushi isn’t at its best - the same goes for smoothies. Using fresh ingredients also maximizes the nutrient-rich potential of your smoothies. Try to buy locally whenever possible. If not, stock your freezer with frozen fruit and chopped leafy greens. These are just as good as most of the time they are picked at peak times and flash frozen.

2. Use a restaurant-grade blender. Unfortunately, the hand-me-down blender from college doesn’t cut it any more. A high performance, multi-speed blender will guarantee a well-blended beverage, and it allows you to use heartier, more delicious ingredients such as coconut oil and almond butter. Thick, well-blended smoothies should taste more like milkshakes - after all, they are for the kids. The Vitamix is my weapon of choice. I use it 3 to 4 times a day and so will you.

3. Experiment with different types of combos. Some of my favourite recipes are the most unusual of combinations - this makes it more fun! An ever-evolving list of ingredients that may seem suspicious at first, but turn out to be oh-so good can be very rewarding. Blend a mix of greens, hemp or nut milk, organic almond butter or avocado, raw cacao powder, coconut oil, and a dash of cinnamon for a creamy, slightly sweet, and nutrient-dense smoothie that kids love.

4. Liquids First. Pour water, hemp or nut milk, or coconut water as your base to cover the blades. Fill the middle of the base with your desired fruits, veggies and superfood powders, and then top it off with ice and more liquid. Then blend and enjoy!


5. Use 1 cup of dark leafy greens. To ensure that you are getting all of the goodness from these God-like leaves, add one cup of greens for each 20 oz. beverage. But if your kids are kid detectives, start with a couple leaves and then build up slowly.

6. Choose your superfoods for nutrition and taste. I have an entire shelf in my fridge dedicated to superfood superpowers - all of which boast potential health benefits. They add taste and texture to your drinks. Maca regulates hormones and boosts energy and the libido. I can tell you that it gives me espresso-like intensity, and adds real creaminess. I would skip this for the kids! Hemp Seeds are the highest and most perfect plant protein, with a slightly nutty consistency. Goji berries provide ultra-high boosts of antioxidants. Camu camu is packed with Vitamin C. Raw cacao powder is every kid’s favourite - it is loaded with iron, fiber and antioxidants, and the healthy way to add chocolate into the diet. Acai powder is loaded with antioxidants that taste both sweet and savoury. Chia seeds are packed with Omegas and protein. It protects the heart and keeps you full. Master these first, and then play around with Bee Pollen, Chaga mushroom powder and other superfoods.

7. Add healthy fat to keep your metabolism revved up and create depth and taste. Choose from raw peanut and almond butter or tahini, avocado or a tablespoon of coconut, or hemp or MCT oil.

8. Spice it up. Cinnamon keeps blood sugars stable, while cayenne kick-starts your metabolism. Turmeric is always the best anti-inflammatory, but it needs a little black pepper for maximum absorption. For more must-try smoothie recipes, please visit

Certified Holistic nutritionist and health consultant, Alyssa Bauman, founded Nourished {A Health Consulting Firm} six years ago when she was constantly being asked for healthy living advice. It’s not as difficult as it seems, that’s where Alyssa comes in and guides you through whatever your nutritional needs may be. When she isn’t upgrading food choices, she will be playing in the park with with her most treasured muses—her three daughters.

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Island Pacific School

PDG Dental

Vancouver Montessori School

Core Education & Fine Arts

Kid Approved

Richmond Aquatics

Circus West

Jump Gymnastics

Sea to Sky Gondola



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WestCoast Families Jan|Feb 2018  

The January|February Education issue of WestCoast Families. Featuring Lotte Davis of One Girl Can, plus features on ADHD, Field Trips, Fundr...

WestCoast Families Jan|Feb 2018  

The January|February Education issue of WestCoast Families. Featuring Lotte Davis of One Girl Can, plus features on ADHD, Field Trips, Fundr...