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westcoast

families

FREE! JAN/FEB 2019

EXPLORING EDUCATION Which style is best for your child?

Field Trips

Fundraising

The Best in BC

Tried, Trusted & Trending Ideas


westcoast

families

EDUCATION 10 French Immersion 12 Split Classes 14 Education Options in BC

FROM THE EDITOR 6 6 8 24 29 30

From our Family to Yours Where to Find Us WestCoast Finds WCF News Community Calendar Last Look: Going Meatless

Managing Editor Andrea Vance editor@westcoastfamilies.com

Advertising sales@westcoastfamilies.com 604.249.2866

Assistant Editor Bianca Bujan bianca@westcoastfamilies.com

Contributors Bianca Bujan, Alyssa Bauman, Jen Bruyns, Taslim Jaffer, Michele Kambolis, Gillian Liebrandt, Nic Enright-Morin, Andrea Vance

Contributing Editor Jodi Iverson jodi@westcoastfamilies.com Art Director & Layout Krysta Furioso studio@westcoastfamilies.com Administration Jennifer Bruyns admin@westcoastfamilies.com Accounts Receivable & Payable Jennifer Brule finance@westcoastfamilies.com

For distribution inquiries, please email publisher@westcoastfamilies.com All contents copyrighted Š. Written permission from the publisher is required to reproduce, quote, reprint or copy any material from WestCoast Families

15 Understanding Different Learning Styles 21 Is Your Child Struggling in School?

FIELD TRIPS 16 Great Options in the Lower Mainland

FUNDRAISERS 18 Fundraising Ideas for Every Season

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

FAMILY TRAVEL 22 Sun Peaks

www.twitter.com/wcfmag www.facebook.com/westcoastfamilies www.pinterest.com/wcfmag Instagram: @westcoastfamilies

HEALTH 26 Thinking Traps


January/February 2019

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FROM OUR FAMILY TO YOURS by Andrea Vance

“At this point, we appear to have a 19th century curriculum, 20th century buildings and organizations, and 21st century students facing an indefinite future.” - Bruce Wellman Education has changed so much in the years since I was in a classroom. There was a time when school was school. You went to the school in your catchment area, and crossing boundaries was only allowed by approval. Libraries were quiet places where you checked out books, and left. Specialty public schools and programs didn’t exist, and the desks were all set in rows.

WHERE TO FIND US

Today, we have so many options that it can sometimes be overwhelming. Private or public. Traditional or specialty. Arts or academic. Online or in a classroom. There are now no boundaries other than our imaginations. Students can literally go to school from the other side of the world, or around the corner. Our goal with the annual Education issue is to show how far education has come, and inform us all of the fortunate choices that we have as parents.

With school-aged children, we also have responsibilities for fundraising, like it or not, for our schools and community organizations. Fundraising can actually be fun, and build community, and we’ve got some great ideas for you. Plus, tips from those who have been there, raising money for their PAC groups. One way to round out our kids’ education is by hands-on learning and exploring. Field trips help kids see more of what they are learning in the classroom - whether it’s a bus ride to Squamish to explore old mines, a hike through a local forest, or a parent-escorted visit to a local museum. In this issue we’re featuring some great ideas to share with your school. It’s up to us to push for constant change, and to ensure that the students of today and tomorrow get the best education possible.

WestCoast Families is proud to partner with these local businesses. Pick up your copy of WestCoast Families at any of these locations: Rothewood Schools #100 7931 Alderbridge Way, Richmond #D400 15355 24th Ave, Surrey www.rothewood.com Tao Organics 210-150 Esplanade West, North Vancouver www.taoorganics.com Green Moustache Café 117 W 1st St, North Vancouver www.greenmoustache.com Genesis Nutrition 1070 Davie Street, Vancouver 2782 West Broadway, Vancouver 2570 Main Street, Vancouver www.genesisnutrition.ca

Treehaus Teahaus 1705 Marine Drive, North Vancouver www.treehausteahaus.com Granville Island Kids Market 1496 Cartwright St, Vancouver Vancouver Public Libraries All locations www.vpl.ca Core Education & Fine Arts CEFA All locations www.cefa.ca Burnaby Village Museum 6501 Deer Lake Ave, Burnaby www.burnabyvillagemuseum.ca

Looby Doo 15218 Pacific Ave, White Rock

Don’t forget to visit all the businesses featured in WestCoast Families. It is because of our valued advertisers that we are able to bring you relevant, local information each issue. We are grateful for each of them! 6 WestCoastFamilies.com


“That’s the magic of summer camp. It gets ahold of your heart and never lets go.” WestCoast Families presents

Camp Guide 2019 • Sleepaway Camps: March|April issue • Day Camps: May|June issue Call or email today to book your ad spot! sales@westcoastfamilies.com 604.249.2866

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families Visit www.westcoastfamilies.com for more family lifestyle resources

January/February 2019

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WESTCOASTFINDS

Reading into 2019 1) Untangled & Under Pressure Have you ever wished that there was a book to help you navigate through the trying teen years with your daughter? Thanks to New York Times bestselling author Lisa Damour, you can learn all about what’s going on, what’s to come, and when it’s time to worry through her first book, Untangled. In her follow-up book, Under Pressure, Damour dives deeper, confronting the epidemic of stress and anxiety in girls, and how to understand and support today’s girls. (Under Pressure on sale 2/12/19) www.randomhousebooks.com | $27 each

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2) Moonlite Storytime Projector (Starter Pack, Robert Munsch Edition) Stop dozing off and try a fun new way to do storytime with your kids. Moonlite is a storytime projector that fits right onto your mobile phone, projecting pictures on the wall as you read along. From fairy tale classics, to the Robert Munsch book series, you can snuggle up, turn down the lights, and watch as the stories come to life before your eyes. Available at Chapters Indigo. www.mymoonlite.com | $30

2) Other Life Lessons Books (Series One Collection Bundle)

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4 3) What to Do When You Worry Too Much: A Kid’s Guide to Overcoming Anxiety

Tired of reading books filled with fluffy unicorns and fairy tale endings? Give your kids a dose of reality with these thoughtprovoking books that address real-life issues in a way that is easy to understand. Featuring books like Why Mommy Works and Sometimes Someone Dies, the Other Life Lessons book series makes it easy to talk about the tougher things in life with your kids. Created by Canadian moms looking to shed light on life’s adventures - and the speed bumps we may hit along the way. www.otherlifelessons.com | $32

Nothing helps an important message sink in like relatable metaphors, humorous illustrations, and easy-tounderstand concepts for kids. What to Do When You Worry Too Much is an interactive book designed to guide 6-12 year olds and their parents through the cognitive-behavioral techniques most often used in the treatment of generalized anxiety. Engaging, encouraging, and easy to follow, this book educates, motivates, and empowers children to work towards change. Part of the What To Do book series by Dawn Huebner. www.dawnhuebnerphd.com | $21

January/February 2019

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EDUCATION

FRENCH IMMERSION Early vs. Late - Which is the Best Fit for Your Family? by Taslim Jaffer Standing in the playground of my elementary school in Victoria, I focused on the task at hand. While my classmates challenged themselves on the monkey bars and climbing the slide backwards, I had my own skills to master. The sounds of the other children calling to each other faded as my concentration grew. Moving my tongue tip to the ridge behind my front teeth, I pronounced the sound /t/. “T. T. Tongue.” Satisfied, after several rounds, with my work on the /t/ sound, I transitioned my tongue from the ridge to between my teeth and blew air through the tiny openings in my mouth. “Th. Th. Thumb.” Tongue and thumb were the bane of my existence as a 6 year old in the early secondlanguage learning stage. Not only did they sound the same to my non-native ear, I was constantly mixing up the initial sounds of each word, generating nonsensical terms that now hold a little nostalgia for me. I do believe that, perched on the perimeter of the playground in my self-imposed speech lesson, a seed for loving languages was planted that continues to be a source of joy for me today. Growing up with pentalingual parents also set the stage for me to be a lifelong language learner; my world has never been solely coded in English and I developed the notion that a language is a golden ticket to another dimension. I saw how easily my parents could navigate various social situations, and enjoy many more experiences than I with my two languages. When I started learning French toward the end of elementary school on the Mainland, I latched on to the new experience with excitement – armed with Canadian singersongwriter Charlotte Diamond’s cassette tapes. I’m sure I wasn’t the only Canadian kid to know Je Suis Une Pizza by heart!

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I assumed that when I became a mom, I would raise bilingual kids who would then go on to learn French in school, and possibly other languages throughout their lives. But my first language, Kutchi, is no longer my primary language, and speaking it to my kids in their formative years was slow and unnatural. Over the last year, I have taken a broader view of language learning. I may not be able to ensure that my kids are fluent in the language of their ancestors, but I can open their hearts to the idea that they are capable of learning languages that are available to them. In a relaxed way, I will spout a Kutchi expression or a KiSwahili word, a French question or a Spanish greeting. Now, even if they don’t know what I’m saying, they can tell me which language it is just based on the sounds. And I’m happy to have them attempt anything in

any language! In my home, you may hear me ask my 5 year old a yes/no question in Kutchi and then hear her respond, “Oui!” in French, and we just go with it! It is possible to learn languages at any age, but I believe two factors make it is easier to pick them up: 1. When we have the opportunity to play with different sounds in our mouths at a young age, and 2. When we’re in an immersive environment. My desire to lay the foundation for lifelong language learners had me examining the options within the French immersion system in the Surrey School District, where we live. For those of us who wish for our kids to pursue bilingualism in English and French, there are two options here in BC: an Early Immersion program (from K-12) and a Late Immersion program (from Grade 6-12).


Here’s how to differentiate between Early and Late French Immersion, to help decide which may be the best fit for your family:

Early French Immersion The better-known tract is Early Immersion where students enter the program in Kindergarten. Schooling begins completely immersed in French, with teachers using hand gestures and visual support paired with verbal output. Students learn the language as most children do their mother tongues, while immersed in play and song, and familiar routines. All subjects are taught in French for the first few years, and then in Grade 4 an English Language Arts class is introduced. Because they learn so young, their accent is typically close to a native speaker in most cases. A common hesitation for some parents considering Early Immersion is the question of whether or not their child will pick up the French language, and further, will they be behind in English literacy and math. Surrey teacher, Colette Chalifour, who has taught Kindergarten through Grade 6 and is currently teaching Grade 3, says, “Parents have to trust the teachers in the Early Immersion program to be honest with them. In Early Immersion we do have children who have designated difficulties in learning and they remain in the program. We have others that, the parents have decided to remove them from the French Immersion program. Each child and each situation requires its own conversation.”

Late French Immersion The students who enter Late Immersion in Grade 6 have been a part of the conversation that gets them in the classroom. This results in a class full of students who know why they are there: to learn a new language.

Many have convinced their parents to sign them up, and some have been strongly encouraged to give it a try by their parents. But what they have in common is that they likely changed schools to be there. It’s a tricky age to change schools, and this may be a deterrent for students and parents, but it’s also a valuable life lesson in resilience and change. Surrey teacher, Simon Nadeau, who is a native French speaker from Quebec and who has taught both tracts says, for a teacher, the fact that the students are part of the decision to be there makes a huge difference. “The kids here in Grade 6, they all want to be here. It makes for a very nice group of kids. The dynamic in Late Immersion is fantastic because they all decide to be here, they all want to learn.” “If you ask the teachers at Earl Marriott [a French Immersion high school in Surrey], of course they will tell you yes, we can tell these kids are from Late Immersion and these kids are not. But apparently, in the writing, the Late Immersion kids are stronger because we cover it so much. We do work a lot on writing, we talk about the grammar and we work hard during Grade 6. And they do in Grade 7, and by the end of Grade 7 they are almost at the same point [as an Early Immersion student],” Simon affirms. For both tracts, high school looks the same. In Grade 8, 50% of the coursework is done in French and this number decreases until Grade 12 when 25% of the coursework is done in French. Upon graduation, French Immersion students receive a diplôme de fin d’études secondaire en Colombie-Britannique, as well as a British Columbia Certificate of Graduation. My oldest daughter has just completed her first semester as a Late Immersion student, and we are considering the same route for our other two children. This will give them a fair crack at fluency in another language; both Early and Late Immersion programs offer that for BC students.

January/February 2019

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EDUCATION

SPLIT CLASSES Are They Helping Or Hurting Our Kids? by Bianca Bujan When I first discovered that both of my school-aged children were to be on the older end of split-grade classes for the new school year, I felt divided. Not only was I concerned that a split class meant that my children would be receiving half of the attention they needed from their teachers in order to succeed, but I was worried that the placement with their younger peers was a direct reflection of their level of maturity and academic abilities - and my kids shared these concerns. While split classes have been commonplace since the earliest days of schooling, there seems to be a significant increase in the practice in recent years. My oldest, who entered grade 6 this year, has joined her peers in a divide across three split classes. Last year, my middle child experienced a similar setup, with four split classes devised to accommodate his grade 2 classmates. Many parents have soured to the increased number of split classes, sharing worries of students falling behind, and confusion over why so many splits have been enforced. Gabbi Morrow, a mother of two and Vancouver-based elementary school teacher who has been teaching predominantly split classes for her nearly 20-year teaching career, says that split class allocations are less about skill level and maturity, and more about finding organizational balance. “Splits are very common when needing to spread out students with designations, or balancing student behaviours,” she explains. Morrow is teaching a 6/7 split class this year, and on ensuring her senior students are properly prepared for high school, she explains, “It can be a juggle for the teacher in certain subjects, so I platoon with another teacher so that she teaches one of the grades and I teach the other.” On worrying about split classes from a parent’s perspective, Morrow shares, “I have never worried about having my own girls in split classes because I know what it’s like to teach a split. I would worry more about their teacher - whether or not they run a solid program and if they have good

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behaviour management skills - regardless of split or straight grade classrooms.” Research shows that split classes do not negatively impact academic success, and can positively affect students by enhancing non-cognitive learning skills, increasing leadership skills, and developing organizational and problem-solving skills in kids. In a story shared by CTV News last year, Richard Messina - principal of Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study Laboratory School at OISE stated, “Many of the issues parents are concerned about - a gap in knowledge or in stimulation - exist in single-cohort classes as well.” He goes on to note that “in every classroom, there is a developmental range in knowledge, in skill development, social-emotional development, and in some areas of the curriculum, the change from one grade to the other is small.” While mixing grades may not have a great impact on children academically, some parents worry that being placed with younger kids and separated from their same-aged peers will greatly affect their children on a social level. At the beginning of the school year, my

11-year-old daughter was devastated when she discovered that all of her closest friends were placed in the same onegrade classroom, while she was once again assigned to a split-grade classroom where she was in the older group. But it didn’t take long for her to adjust, and her friendships have remained strong and intact - despite the daytime distance. My son is now in an all-grade-three class, and began the school year with the same qualms - his besties grouped together in another all-three’s class. While at first disappointing, the separation from his schoolmates has forced him to forge new bonds, and learn how to socialize with other children with whom he may not have otherwise interacted. When it comes to split classes, it’s not worth the worry. Studies show that split classes will not impact the academic success of your child, and the divide often means more balanced classrooms. And when it comes to stabilizing your child’s social life, sometimes a little distance from their favourite friends can be favorable. While it may not always be the ideal setup, parents need to support the decision, not stand divided.


How Common are Split Classes? • In New Zealand, which has the highest literacy rate in the world, students of different ages are often grouped together in the same classroom. • In Western Australia, more than 85% of the schools use split grade classrooms. • In the Netherlands, 53% of the teaching staff is responsible for a split grade classroom. • In Switzerland, 23% of the classrooms are split grade. • In Canada, 20% of the students are registered in split grade classrooms. • 50 per cent of all teachers start their career in multigrade classes in Great Britain. Dr. Joel Gajadharsingh (University of Saskatchewan) has been a leader in North American research in combined grades. In 1991, the Canadian Education Association summarized his extensive findings and concluded the following: 1. Children in combined classes get an education that is just as good or better as in single grade classes. 2. Children in classes where there is more than one level learn to become more independent, responsible learners and develop a greater degree of social responsibility. They also develop better study habits and a more positive attitude towards school. 3.

85% of teachers considered the achievements of students in multi-grades to be equal or superior to the achievement of students in single grades in language arts, mathematics, sciences and social studies.

Is there a downside? Teachers need more time to prepare for class. The curriculum is geared towards single-grade systems, and may need to be updated to reflect multi-grade classes. Teachers are not necessarily given professional training to deal with multi-grade classrooms.

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EDUCATION

SCHOOL IS NOT ONE SIZE FITS ALL There are so Many Options in BC for Kids’ Education

Distributed Learning Choice and flexibility for study outside of classroom schedules. Students, instructors and content located in different, non-centralized locations.

Waldorf Developing the “whole child” with hands-on learning, arts & music in all areas of study.

Traditional Teacher-centred delivery of instruction to classes of students.

Reggio Emilia The child directs their own learning.

International Baccalaureate Worldwide standardized programs that often goes beyond the provincial curriculum for advanced study.

Forest/ Outdoor Development of children through play and learning outside.

Montessori Children work individually, and with others, without teacher interference, developing a desire to learn.

Religious/ Faith based The faith’s perspective and cultural background is infused into the curriculum.

Language Full academic curriculum in a different language.

Online Supplement or fully replace traditional schooling, providing credits towards a provincial diploma.

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Specialty Arts, sports, military or other particular focuses.

Special Needs For students with any type of communicative, mental, physical, social, or learning difficulty.


UNDERSTANDING DIFFERENT LEARNING STYLES 7 Different Types of Learners VISUAL (Spatial) Prefer pictures, images, and mind maps to help process information. AURAL (Auditory-Musical) Prefer learning through rhythms or tend to use clever rhymes to remember things. VERBAL (Linguistic) Need to read content aloud to learn something, or want someone to speak the information to you to process it. PHYSICAL (Kinesthetic) Learn by doing, or need to draw out diagrams or role play to learn new information. LOGICAL (Mathematical) Need to understand the bigger picture, along with the logic, reasoning and systems behind that concept. SOCIAL (Interpersonal) Prefer to work with other people and learn best in groups. SOLITARY (Intrapersonal) Need to sit and study alone to retain information. January/February 2019

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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!

Manning Park Resort Manning Park A four-season resort in the Cascade Mountains that offers year-round camping and accommodation for individuals, families and large groups, as well as exceptional recreational activities including hiking, biking, canoeing, skiing/boarding, 64km of Nordic trails, snowshoeing, and an outdoor ice rink. www.manningpark.com

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Gulf of Georgia Cannery Richmond Explore Canada’s west coast fishing history at this interactive museum inside a former salmon cannery in Steveston. www.gulfofgeorgiacannery.org


Roedde House Museum Vancouver Roedde House is a late-Victorian home built in 1893 for the family of Gustav Roedde, the city’s first bookbinder. It has been restored to reflect the life of a middle class, immigrant family at the end of the 19th century. www.roeddehouse.org

Richmond Aquatics Richmond Operating four aquatic facilities: two indoor (year round) and two outdoor. Programs includes swim lessons, aquatic fun, and safety instruction. Aquatics promote good posture, flexibility, muscular endurance, strength and balance, reduce stress, provide social interaction, develop healthy lifestyles and are fun. www.richmond.ca

MORE GREAT FIELD TRIPS! Royal BC Museum www.rbcm.ca

Carousel Theatre for Young People www.carouseltheatre.ca

Galiano Conservancy Association www.galianoconservancy.ca

Richmond Oval www.richmondoval.ca

Legislative Assembly of BC www.leg.bc.ca

The Ecolodge - Tofino Botanical Gardens www.tbgf.org

January/February 2019

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FUNDRAISING

TRIED, TRUSTED, AND TRENDING Fundraising Ideas For Every Season by Nic Enright-Morin Once your kids begin school, no matter where they’re going to be educated, you can guarantee that fundraisers will become a staple in your life. Most schools in BC have a Parents Advisory Council (PAC), which, as well as discussing ideas and issues regarding the school, also plays a big role in raising money for activities and supplies needed to enhance the educational experience. The reality is, the PAC is a volunteer job, and here in the Lower Mainland, busy parents are already time-poor. As a result, PACs need fundraisers that are fast, fun, and sure to generate muchneeded funds for their school. After speaking with PAC members across the Lower Mainland, and researching school fundraising ideas from around the world, I’ve put together a list of the some of the best ways to raised funds for your school. Whether you’re looking for new ideas, or tried-and-tested ones, you’ll find plenty of inspiration here - not only to raise money for your school, but also build a community - one fundraiser at a time.

Christmas Cards Kids art work immortalized on a holiday card? Adorable. There are plenty of places to order cards and artsy keepsakes online. Shop around for the best deal. Check out www.thecardproject.ca or www.createdbykids.ca Multicultural Fair One of the best things about Canada is the melting pot of cultures. A great way to celebrate that diversity is with a multicultural fair. Ethnic cuisine, arts, crafts, traditional music, dance – and of course, loads of fun to bring in the funds!

FRESH FUNDRAISERS FOR SPRING Easter Hop

FALL FUNDRAISING IDEAS

There are plenty of eggcellent ideas to get this event hopping: Easter egg hunt, pictures with the Easter bunny, egg and spoon races. All you need is a willing committee to keep every bunny happy.

Pumpkin Patch

School Fair/Carnival

Selling pumpkins is a fun fundraising activity, and a great community event that kids love.

All the PAC volunteers we spoke to agreed: even though a school carnival is a TON of work, it’s lots of fun, and generates the big bucks. To lighten the load, you’ll need a large committee – and plenty of time.

Halloween Dance All you need is a gym, some ghoulish music, and a concession stand. The latter is where you’ll make most of the money, and depending on school policies, you can get parents to donate the goods, or have a committee to get the supplies.

Family Photo Night Check your parent group for a photographer who can take the snaps, and donate the sitting fee, or negotiate a deal with a local studio.

Pie Sale

GET THEM SPENDING IN SUMMER

A slice of pie on a crisp fall day? Yum. There are several local pie companies with great fundraisers that will take the hard work out of this one - all you have to do is order the sweet stuff.

School Picnic

WAYS TO RAISE FUNDS IN WINTER

Looking for a way to end the school year with one last hurrah, why not plan a school picnic? This simple event can be held on school grounds, or a local park, and is fabulous outdoor fun.

Christmas Craft Fair

Walkathon

Craft fairs are a perennial favourite. At Christmas, some schools host fairs that are just for kids to gather gifts for their family. All you need is an army of Pinterest parents, and you’re good to go!

All that’s needed to host a walkathon are running shoes, and sponsor forms. A great way to show school spirit and get the whole community involved in a healthy and fun outdoor activity.

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Yoga

Silent Auction

Find a qualified parent who knows how to move into a cobra from a downward dog, and add a school gym and some eager parents with yoga mats. Ohm!

Get donations from local businesses and ask your school community too - silent auctions are always fantastic money makers.

LOW INTENSITY FUNDRAISING IDEAS

Parents Night Out/School Disco for Parents All parents love a night out. Kick it old skool in the gymnasium, or take it to a local pub.

Trivia Night Always a hit with knowledge nerds of all ages. Run this in a local pub, or the school gym so everyone can join in.

Teacher Karaoke A hilarious fundraiser - awesome for secondary or larger schools, or as a feature on carnival night.

T-Shirt Design Competition Nothing shouts school spirit like swanky school apparel! Host a design competition and chose the best one. Then print the winning design on t-shirts and sell them to students. Bake Sale Planning a bake sale? Check the online guide for recipes that are BC school approved at www.healthyschoolsbc.ca. Board Game Competition

Finally, don’t forget fundraisers such as coupon books, hot lunch programs, year books, table top sales, paint nights, as well as money makers that require zero effort, such as ordering groceries online with Spud, or in-store purchases at Cobs bread – both donate partial proceeds to the school of your choice. Remember that some businesses give out freebies for school events, and that your school community is much more likely to participate in fundraising efforts if they know that the money will go towards some much-needed resources for their children.

In an age where parents are losing their minds trying to pry kids away from screens, this simple fundraiser is a real crowd pleaser, and a great community builder too.

PAC Parent Tips “When you’re fundraising, make it accessible and inclusive. You don’t want to leave people out. Make sure there are options for families of all budgets. For example, when we have our Purdy’s chocolate fundraiser there are $5 items and $100 items – everyone who wants to participate can and that’s really important.” Ryan Graham-Cutts, PAC Chair, North Vancouver “Keep it simple and do it well. Don’t be afraid to ask for donations or help – the worst people can say is no. One of our best fundraisers was the hot lunch program – the kids’ happy faces when they had their special lunch delivered, and parents relief that they had one less thing to do, that was a great feeling.” Shereena Chan, Past-PAC President, Coquitlam “My biggest tip is to get the kids involved. Whatever they are excited about is always a huge success. Also establishing a great relationship with the teachers is important, they help us spread the word of upcoming fundraisers as well.”

“Don’t overwhelm families. If there’s too much fundraising it kind of gets lost. Also focus on events that do more than just bring money in, it’s important to have events that create community and that the kids really look forward to every year.”

Keeley Saunders, PAC Chair, Burnaby

Lindsie Tomlinson, PAC Fundraising Coordinator, Vancouver

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EDUCATION

THE STRUGGLE IS REAL Five Ways To Know If Your Child Is Struggling In School (And How You Can Help) by Gillian Liebrandt, Millennium Learning School can be a struggle for any student. Some thrive in a teacher-led environment. Others excel in certain areas, and need a little help in others, and some students find school to be a long-term, everyday struggle. With some extra help from teachers, those short-term challenges can often be helped, but those children with ongoing struggles in school may need support beyond the classroom to truly succeed academically.

Spotting the Signs Here are five telltale signs that your child may be struggling in school: 1. Your child has trouble paying attention - appears to be careless and unmotivated. Learning and behaviour depend on the child having solid attention skills. Often children aren’t paying attention because they are not processing the information coming at them efficiently, and simply take a mental break. Children are generally eager to learn, but when school becomes a place of stress and anxiety, they lose their motivation to learn.

5. Y ​ our child is disorganized. Organization requires executive functioning. If the executive functioning is weak, a student often lacks the ability to self-monitor the quality of their work or the ability to get it done on time. Your child may also demonstrate poor planning and time management skills.

How You Can Help 2. Homework is a constant struggle. Your child forgets or loses assignments​.

If your child checks all of these boxes, don’t worry, there are ways that you can help them to succeed.

If you do not understand what you are supposed to do, you avoid doing it. Quite often homework is a nightly family battle, so children find ways to get around it. It is easier to be in trouble at school for not doing the homework than to battle with parents.

An educational therapist can work with your child to assess to their learning challenges. They can then initiate a plan to help your child progress beyond their challenges. The brain has plasticity and is capable of change. Every child deserves a chance to succeed.

3. Your child has a poor memory and needs to have things repeated.

Here are just five of the ways that an educational therapist can determine the difficulties that your child is facing in school, and help you to find an effective solution:

Parents often conclude that their child has a poor or selective memory, when they really have a processing problem. Memory and attention go hand in hand. If a child is unable to focus long enough to let the information in, or is unable to hold on to it, it becomes difficult to learn or remember. 4. Your child needs ongoing tutoring to keep up in school. If your child seems to need ongoing tutoring to keep up with school, there is a larger issue. Tutoring should address short term difficulties but should not be a way of life for a child or family.

1. Understand the causes of the learning difficulties. 2. Know the skills necessary for fast, efficient learning. 3. Find out what skills are weak. 4. Learn what needs to happen to improve learning skills. 5. Take the necessary steps to help your child/student acquire the skills needed to become a successful student. To learn more about educational therapy, please visit the Millennium Learning website at www.millenniumlearningadvantage.com

January/February 2019

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FAMILY TRAVEL

HEAD TO SUN PEAKS THIS SPRING Where To Stay, Eat, And Play On The Slopes by Andrea Vance We went looking for some family ski fun, not too far from Greater Vancouver, and we found it and more at Sun Peaks Resort, located just 20 minutes outside of Kamloops. Pulling into the village, you feel like you’ve come along a mountainside paradise nestled between two hills. It’s got a real old-world European alpine feel, and right away you feel at peace in the mountains.

What to Do Sun Peaks has two mountains for skiing and boarding, with lots of lift and capacity to get you around. Most accommodations throughout the village are ski-in/ski-out, so you can park your car once and walk or ski where you need to go. Morrisey is on one side, and Todd Mountain on the other, connected by trails and a covered bridge, with skiable terrain second in Canada only to Whistler/Blackcomb combined. There’s something for everyone, from steeps and moguls, to glade runs and cruisers. In two days of skiing on the holidays, we never encountered a lineup more than 5 minutes long, and many times we had runs all to ourselves with fresh powder. Tubing is right there at the bottom of the main ski hill, perfect for parents who want to have après at Bottoms Bar & Grill while the kids keep the fun going into the evening. The Village Platter lift and the Tube Time Carpet is open until 7pm with the lights on for lots of nighttime fun. The village is small and quiet, so the kids can have a lot of freedom to run around and play. Bring your skates! There is an NHL-sized outdoor rink, just a 10 minute walk from the main village. Skate rentals are available, and you can join a game of drop-in hockey, or enjoy a family skate during one of the open ice times that go well into the evening, under the stars. Check with guest services to see if the rink is open, since it is weather dependent.

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There are spectacular Nordic ski trails too, and you can switch on the fly since the Nordic Centre is located right at the base of the Morrisey Express chairlift! Check out the Umbrella Café – such a cool place to grab a beer or light lunch between mountains and activities. In the summertime at Sun Peaks, the chairlifts switch up to accommodate mountain bikes and hikers. There are huge networks of hiking trails and sightseeing to view vast landscapes of wildflowers and lakes. Downhill biking trails create adventure for the thrill seekers, and the golf course at Sun Peaks provides hours of gorgeous scenic links.

Where to Stay We stayed at the Sun Peaks Grand Hotel, and there is no wonder why it’s highly recommended. The rooms have all just been renovated, and they are so cozy, with fluffy bedding and pillows and oversized lounge chairs. Even the most basic room has plenty of floor space for ski bags and suitcases, and a big bathroom for families. The lobby is cozy with a fireplace and great hangout spaces, and a couple of casual restaurants and bars to meet up in before or after skiing. The indoor/outdoor pool, sauna, and two huge hot tubs overlooking the ski hill made for some great afternoon fun, meeting other families.


There are plenty of small hotels and condo rentals right in the main village, where you can walk to everything within just a few minutes. In the summertime, there are RV and camping sites too. Accommodations are limited within the village, so plan ahead, especially during ski season. There are more being built with a community plan in place, and everything is being built with ski-in/ ski-out possibilities.

Where to Eat Our standard room came with a small fridge, a coffee maker, and a great counter area, which allowed us to have good snacks and breakfast foods right in the room. That helped a lot with two kids who are hungry when they wake up, and snack-ish all day long. You can also opt for a room or rental with a kitchen, making mealtimes so easy with the whole family. There are some food services on the slopes at the top of the Sunburst chair, but with most of the runs flowing down to the main village, there are lots of options for fuelling up. We had some great meals, all within a 2 minute walk from the Sun Peaks Grand Hotel. For lunch and après-ski, we loved the Cahilty Creek Kitchen & Taproom, slope side with ski racks right out front, and 16 taps of craft beer and ciders. Locally owned by the Dye family, and newly renovated, the food and atmosphere are great for all ages. The breakfast buffet at Mantles Restaurant was a treat, especially for the kids with good quality and variety. Sushi at the Oya restaurant was very good, but the seating is very limited, so go early. Bottoms Bar & Grill was in a perfect spot to watch the kids in the evening, skiing and tubing down the Platter run by night lights, and Masa’s Bar & Grill in the main ski lodge had great poutine, caesar salad, and burgers for hungry skiers. As with most ski resorts, eating out is not cheap. We found some affordable options, brought our own snacks and drinks, found drink specials, and asked for kids menus that helped keep the final bills more reasonable. There is a small grocery store in the village with a decent selection of food and supplies, but best to bring in what you need for your home cooked meals.

Where to Meet Up With Friends One of things that struck us about Sun Peaks as we skied and explored the village, was the friendly and welcoming nature of everyone we encountered. From other skiers in the lift lines (as short and quick as they were), to the clerks at the stores and the servers at the restaurants. We never felt like we were “just another tourist”. We were thrilled to have a visit and ski with the incomparable Nancy Greene, Sun Peaks’ Director of Skiing. Along with all her accolades and achievements, Nancy has also recently been inducted into the Canadian Tourism Hall of Fame, having been instrumental in building Whistler and Sun Peaks both into the great destinations they are today. Nancy offers visitors a chance to ski with her on many days throughout the season at 1pm at the top of the Sunburst Express chairlift. Check the signs at the bottom, or with guest services to confirm her schedule. You won’t be disappointed! At 75 years old, Nancy can still make amazing turns and is so good with the kids. She’s a true advocate for the sport, and for Sun Peaks Resort.

Events to Enjoy Sun Peaks is home to many festivals and events throughout the whole year, and in every season. Coming up this spring are the Nancy Greene Festival, the Rail Jam, and the Nordic Festival, and in summer, look out for the Foam Fest, Spirit Festival, Alpine Blossom Festival, and Family Weeks. Find out more about these and more events happening in the area on the Sun Peaks website. We were able to experience Sun Peaks as the ultimate winter destination. All the amenities and experiences, and none of the crowds and lineups, and we’re looking forward to returning in the summer to see its beauty beyond the snow!

Sun Peaks Resort www.sunpeaksresort.com Cahilty Creek Kitchen www.cahiltycreek.com Sun Peaks Grand Hotel www.sunpeaksgrand.com

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WCFNEWS Mott’s Fruitsations “Buy a Cup, Give a Cup” Program Launches in Support of Breakfast Club of Canada In Canada, 1 in 5 children are at risk of starting the school day on an empty stomach due to a lack of access to nutritious food. To help feed those children in need, Mott’s Fruitsations has partnered with the Breakfast Club of Canada. Between January 1 and March 31, one cup of Mott’s Fruitsations will be donated to the Breakfast Club of Canada for every cup purchased - with the goal of donating a total of half a million cups. The newest flavour addition to the Mott’s Fruitsations lineup is +Fibre unsweetened Mango Peach - made with real fruit, natural flavours and colours - a great addition to a nutritious breakfast. The Breakfast Club of Canada started its mission to nurture the potential and grow healthy students, giving an equal chance of success to all kids, one breakfast at a time. The Club now helps feed over 200,000 students in 1,600 schools every school morning. www.breakfastclubcanada.org

Insideout Fam Opens New Coworking Space for Parents and Kids Located near Trout Lake in Vancouver, the newly opened Inside Out Fam offers a flexible space where educational programming lets children play and learn, while parents work and relax. On site teachers present a range of fun activities, including yoga, art, music, stories, and dance for babies, toddlers, and young children, freeing up time for parents to work either collaboratively or individually in a clean and modern workspace that welcomes professionals from all backgrounds. Featuring cozy corners, open and closed work stations, and a natural environment for working adults, this is the ideal space for parents who work remotely to find that work-life balance. Time is booked online, and rates range from hourly visits to monthly membership pricing. www.insideoutfam.com

BC Sees Record-Breaking Donations to Food Bank in December Each year, CBC/Radio Canada hosts an annual open house and Food Bank Day, encouraging visitors to come together and donate food for those in need. December marked the 32nd annual event, which raised a record-breaking $823,191 for Food Banks BC. More than 2,500 people came together at the open house, located at CBC Vancouver’s broadcast centre on Hamilton Street. Guests had the chance to tour the newsroom and studios, watch live broadcasts, listen to musical performances, and meet their favourite CBC/Radio-Canada hosts and reporters. To date, CBC’s Open House & Food Bank Day has raised more than $9 million for Food Banks BC. Mark your calendars and plan to join in on the fun next year! www.cbc.ca

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East Vancouver Youth Recovery Home Celebrates 30 Years of Helping Teens Opened in May 1988, Peak House was created to offer a youth-focused addiction treatment model - the first facility of its kind to launch in Western Canada. Located near the north end of Nanaimo Street in Vancouver, the space is more a welcoming home than a service centre. Eight beds are available, and the program extends beyond pushing the “don’t use drugs” message. Youth receive guidance from 20 staff members, ranging from clinical counsellors and nurses, to cooks, acupuncturists, and an Indigenous cultural coordinator, and a focus is placed on recreation, art, poetry, conversation, music and spirituality. Funded by BC Coastal Health, and operated by BC Housing, the house offers a much-needed space for BC’s youth who seek freedom from substance abuse. Peak House celebrated its 30th anniversary at the beginning of December, to coincide with National Addictions Awareness Week, and is looking to open a second location soon. www.peakhouse.ca

Fraser Academy Outreach Centre For the last three decades, Fraser Academy has provided support and resources for families with children who struggle with dyslexia and language-based learning disabilities. This year, Fraser Academy will be launching a brand new offering, FAx - the Fraser Academy Outreach Center. The FAx will focus on four program pillars: 1) Student/Family Programs and Services, featuring one-on-one learning services offered through after-school programming, and spring and summer camps; 2) Professional Development, offering training for educators on the approaches that have resulted in success for FA students; 3) Community Education, including hosted evening and educational sessions for the larger community; and 4) Research and Development, developing relationships with researchers in order to create further knowledge on educating those who struggle with the development of literacy and numeracy skills. For more information on this exciting new Outreach Center and to find out when the programs will officially launch, please visit the Fraser Academy website. www.fraseracademy.ca

Bacio Rosso: Canada’s First Gourmet Cabaret Cirque Where Moulin Rouge meets Cabaret meets fine dining, this fabulous show has now been extended to March 10. Bacio Rosso is an intimate, fully immersive evening of cirque, comedy and cuisine. As a guest, you are seated in the midst of the performance, with jugglers, contortionists, trapeze artists, magicians, singers and clowns weaving together an unforgettable evening of magic, love and laughter. A delicious 4-course gourmet menu designed by local award winning chef Adam Pegg of La Quercia rounds out the evening. The evening takes place under a spectacular antique Belgian spiegeltent “Magic Cristal”, a large travelling tent, constructed from wood and canvas and decorated with mirrors and stained glass. Be ready for anything: surprises, mystery and magic… the abstract and the absurd. Bacio Rosso is a feast for the senses. www.baciorosso.com


HEALTH

THINKING TRAPS How To Teach Your Kids To Escape Them by Michele Kambolis, Clinical Therapist and founder of Chi School How often do you find yourself telling your kids to, “think positive,” or “you might enjoy it this time,” or even “that’s all in your mind”? The first day of preschool, a new babysitter, an awkward playdate we’ve all been there. Irrational thoughts in kids usually go hand-in-hand with anxiety, avoidance, or even worse, temper tantrums. You’re left trying to stop (or at least manage) the situation without causing embarrassment for your child, or the side-eye glances from the other moms. Negative thought patterns are hard enough for adults to circumvent, so how do we help our children to do the same? Your cheerleading comments during difficult moments might be a stop-gap, but we’ve come up with some play-based methods for halting the negative thought patterns in their tracks. The trick is to get to know the patterns themselves, understand the signs, and practice strategies. With your guidance, and some playful tools for self-awareness, your child can learn to identify the internal patterns that fuel their feelings of anxiety, and reframe their thoughts in a positive, more accurate way. By teaching your child how to observe their thinking mind, you’ll be planting and cultivating powerful seeds of awareness -seeds that can liberate them from anxiety and unhealthy coping behaviours that they could carry with them for life.

their efforts actually make things worse. By understanding how they work, we can capture them and stop their harmful actions, and replace them with more positive ones. Read through the descriptions of each Culprit to get a sense of who you might be encountering and what strategies can be used to defeat their M.O.

1. Catastrophic Casey (doomsday thinking). She imagines the absolute worst thing that could possibly happen in any situation. Strategy: Focus on this exact moment, including what you see, hear, taste, smell, and feel. Acknowledge that the worst possible outcome is not actually happening.

2. Eddie Exaggerations (exaggerated thinking). He tends to make small problems into huge ones - he blows things out of proportion. Solution: Start working towards your goal in small, manageable steps. Tell yourself, “I can do this,” “It’s not a big deal,” or “I got this.”

3. Shaun Should Pants (should and shouldn’t thinking).

The key is to deliver the message in a child-friendly way. In our Chi School classes, we teach children about 11 common mental distortions by introducing them as “Thinking Trap Culprit Characters”. The children can then learn to recognize them as the real causes of anxiety. Here’s how it works: Ask your child to become a “Thought Investigator”, using their keen power of observation to gather data to capture the “Thinking Trap Culprits” that are causing problems in their minds. Explain that each “Thinking Trap Culprit” has its own M.O. - that’s detective talk for “modus operandi,” which means an expected way of behaving. The M.O. is the Culprits’ way of trying to help us, but

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He makes us feel disappointed in ourselves or others by telling us that a decision is a mistake. Solution: Be ok with “good enough” and keep in mind that you can always make a new choice next time.

4. All-or-Nothing Andy (perfectionistic thinking). He thinks things are either perfect or terrible. He is trying to help by pushing us to do our absolute best in every situation, which makes us feel like anything that isn’t perfect is actually horrible.

Solution: Deliberately do a so-so job on something to show yourself that it isn’t the end of the world.


5. Always /Never-Ever Amy (black-and-white thinking).

She sees things in black or white; she likes to categorize situations into things that always happen and things that never happen, even if they actually happen only sometimes.

Child, crying: “I’m so stupid! This always happens to me! How can I be so dumb?” You, ripping apart the car: “Don’t worry we’ll find it!”

Solution: Make a list of exceptions to a situation.

Child, hyperventilating now: “I always do this, I’m so forgetful, It’s gone forever.”

6. Mr. Vortex of Repetition (loopback thinking). He

You, (after 10 frantic minutes): “Found it!” (wedged invisibly between seats)

thinks that if something happens once, it is bound to happen again. He is stuck on the same story and makes things worse by creating negative expectations that are hard to let go.

Solution: Remind yourself that if something happens once, it won’t necessarily happen again. Think about a situation that ended in disappointment once but went well the next time.

7. Mind Reading Mary (mind reading). She “knows” what others are thinking and believes it’s always negative. Solution: Remind yourself that it is not actually possible to know what others are thinking. Instead, join into the discussion or game or do something else you enjoy.

8. Me The All Powerful (it’s-all-about-me thinking). He assumes that he is the cause of everything. He adds blame, lays on guilt, and takes responsibility for things that he did or didn’t do.

Culprits at play: Catastrophic Casey, Always/Never-Ever Amy, Mr Vortex of Repetition, Blame Blaster. Strategy: While it can be hard to be rational in a “crisis” moment (whether perceived or real) the better way to deal with this situation would have been to explain that it’s just a thing, not a person that’s lost, so not a catastrophe. Think of items you have taken good care of for a long time, so this is not an “always” situation. Remind her that since she is a child, you are also responsible for her things so the blame isn’t only on her. And finally, remind her that the outcome was positive, as it will be a lot of the time. 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. www.michelekambolis.com

Solution: Create a list of things that you are responsible for and things that others are responsible for. Then, imagine a clear fluid boundary all around you, creating an invisible force field between you and others.

9. Blindfold Bob (skeptical thinking). He downplays strengths or positive experiences and rejects positive feedback. Solution: Make a list of your strengths.

10. General Label Genevieve (‘ism’ thinking). She loves to attach labels to herself and others. Unfortunately, she’s in a hurry and doesn’t want to waste effort collecting all of the data, so she takes shortcuts in her thinking and makes hasty judgments. She labels a flaw and generalizes it to the entire person.

Solution: Draw a picture of yourself and list your thoughts, body sensations and emotions to see the whole picture.

11. Blame Blaster (blame thinking). He quickly assigns

blame and forgets to look for helpful solutions.

Solution: Remind yourself that learning happens with mistakes, and that it’s more helpful to look for solutions when something goes wrong.

Putting the strategies into play in real-life situations Situation: Your daughter has been given an ipad mini for the first time. She wants to take it everywhere. You let her take it in the car on a family vacation, but ask her to be very careful with it. You stop for lunch in a small town then head back on the road. An hour later you stop again and ask your daughter for the ipad. It’s nowhere to be found.

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COMMUNITYCALENDAR COMMU Robson Square Ice Rink and Plaza Open until February 28, 9am - 9pm (11pm on Fri & Sat) Celebrate winter in style with free skating in the heart of downtown Vancouver. It’s a magical place to enjoy the holidays with your friends, family and loved ones. Skating is free if you bring your own skates. Skate rentals are available for $5/pair. Helmets are also available. www.robsonsquare.com Children the Heart of the Matter Conference Bell Performing Arts Centre January 18 & 19 This conference brings together all those involved in the care and education of young children to help raise the awareness and profile of child care and early childhood development services, family resource programs and others through professional development, networking, and sharing of information and resources. www.childcareoptions.ca Vive Les Voyageurs French-Canadian Festival Fort Langley National Historic Site January 19 & 20 Interpreters share stories around the centre fire. Tap your feet and clap to the beat of French Canada at Fort Langley National Historic Site’s annual winter festival. Enliven a grey January weekend with the unique folklore and culture of the voyageurs and fur traders who lived at 19th-century Fort Langley. www.pc.gc.ca Family Day at PdA! Place des Arts, Coquitlam January 20, 2pm - 4pm Gather up the family and drop by to view three exhibitions and explore their themes, subject matter and mediums in several all-ages, drop-in art activities. Admission is free; register online at brownpapertickets.com www.placedesarts.ca  Science World After Dark Science World at TELUS World of Science January 24, 6:30pm - 10pm Join other adults for Science World After Dark and mix, mingle and play like a kid—without the kids! www.scienceworld.ca Music with Marnie Band Rocks Mount Pleasant CC Mount Pleasant Community Centre January 26, 11am Come get your groove on, and warm up this cool winter with Marnie, her rock n’ roll band & her fun and furried characters. Tickets are $9.50 each in advance and $11 at the door. www.musicwithmarnie.com/concerts

Tourism Vancouver’s Dine Out Vancouver Festival Various Locations January 18-February 3 This is a 17-day schedule of delicious events that provide you with unique culinary experiences to please your palate. Everything from guided dining adventures and neighbourhood food tours, to spirited cocktail masterclasses and global guestchef collaboration dinners. www.dineoutvancouver.com/events The New Butterfly Lovers Queen Elizabeth Theatre February 3, 7:30pm Presented by LunarFest as part of the Year of the Pig celebration, Vancouver’s own renowned choreographer Joshua Beamish brings alive a 1700-year-old Chinese love story in the New Butterfly Lovers. The brand new full-length contemporary ballet will premiere with Maestro Ken Hsieh’s Vancouver Metropolitan Orchestra and Coastal City Ballet for one show only. Admission: $20 - $60. www.lunarfest.org Fred Penner Surrey Arts Centre February 9, 7pm - 8:15pm Sing along with one of Canada’s best-loved children’s entertainers and four-time Juno winner! His warmth and enthusiasm give him an instant emotional connection with fans both young and old. Suggested ages: 4 and up. $25. www.surrey.ca The 34th Annual JCC Jewish Book Festival Jewish Community Centre of Greater Vancouver & Venues February 9 - 14 The six days of the festival are packed with inspiring and entertaining literary events including unique meet-the-author opportunities, readings and panel discussions, the annual book club event, children’s and youth authors, wellness and food subjects, and two onsite bookstores – new and used, open throughout the week. www.jewishbookfestival.ca 2019 LunarFest presented by TELUS Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza February 9 & 10, 11am - 6pm LunarFest brings cultures and traditions outdoor in downtown Vancouver. Be sure to meet the Pig Heroes, DIY a lantern, and take home lots of crafts. Celebrate the Year of the Pig like no other! Free admission. www.lunarfest.org

Family Day at Historic Stewart Farm Historic Stewart Farm, Surrey February 18, 12pm - 3pm Celebrate Family Day by participating in special activities, heritage demonstrations, and sample baking from the woodstove. www.surrey.ca Family Day on the Mountain Grouse Mountain February 18 Enjoy a mountain of family fun, with pancake breakfast, DJ dance party, snowshoe tours, skiing, ice skating, sleigh rides, ziplining, and the Theatre in the Sky! www.grousemountain.com Owl Hoot-enanny Campbell Valley Regional Park, Langley Feb 23,12pm - 3pm Hoot along with live owls! Uncover the mysterious lives of owls with skull and feather displays, activities, crafts, and more. www.metrovancouveronline.org Coldest Night of the Year 2019 Marlborough Elementary School, Burnaby February 23, 4pm - 8pm The Coldest Night of the Year is a fun, familyfriendly national walk that helps you raise funds for charities that serve hungry, homeless and hurting people in your community. Sign up as a team captain and form your own team of walkers online! www.cnoy.org Bacio Rosso Queen Elizabeth Park An intimate, fully immersive evening of cirque, comedy and cuisine. www.baciorosso.com Nightly until March 10

If you’d like WestCoast Families magazine delivered to your event free of charge, email your request to publisher@ westcoastfamilies.com. Go to www.westcoastfamilies.com to see more family events in your area. To have your event included in our community calendar, email details to admin@westcoastfamilies.com.

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LAST LOOK How To Go Meatless In The New Year by Alyssa Bauman, Nourished.ca I love this time of year, filled with fresh intentions to eat healthier, stress less, exercise more, and feed the family more nutritious meals. But with that comes the need to weed through the slew of new health finds, wellness trends, and lists of what to eat and not to eat. While the meaning of wellness is individual and also constantly changing, eating more plants is a culinary crusade that is here to stay. Science has proven that reducing our intake of animal products is not only better for our health - disease prevention and weight loss - but also better for our planet and the future of our children. So what does lightening your meat and dairy load really look like, and how is it attainable for busy families and picky eaters? If you’re a meat eater, I’m not suggesting that you give up meat entirely. Like with everything, it takes baby steps. Find what works for your family and continue to expand on what works. Here are some tips to help you and your family consume more plants and less meat. 1) Go meatless for one entire day. Discuss the why’s and how’s together at the dinner table. If your kids are old enough, I can not stress this enough, get them involved in the entire process from planning, to cooking, to eating. 2) Fill half of your plate with produce. No matter what the meal, shift the balance of plant based foods so that they make up at least 50% of your plate. You will boost nutrition, and save calories. Instead of meat being the main, make smaller portions and boost up the servings of vegetables and beans. 3) Incorporate more nuts and seeds, more beans and lentils, and other plant-based proteins onto the plate. Edamame and hemp seeds are both fantastic sources of plant-based proteins. Try new ways of cooking/marinating tofu, and many of the veggiebased ‘meats’ on the market. Note: Remember to still read labels. If you don’t know what something is, do not purchase it. 4) Extend the meat you do serve. That old cost-saving method of making meatloaf with veggies and breadcrumbs? Give it a modern spin. Lentils or quinoa have the perfect taste and texture to substitute for 50% of your ground beef in a dish. Instead of serving big chicken breasts, stir fry small portions over lush beds of fresh veggies or sauté with veggies for a pasta primavera. Make fish tacos with small portions of fish nestled into tortillas with big mounds of colourful slaw and veggies, instead of serving up big slabs of salmon. 5) Snack on fruits and veggies. Replace the granola bars, cookies, and chips at snack time with chopped veggies served with protein packed dips like hummus or other bean dips, and tortillas and guacamole.

6) Switch to a non-dairy milk. While other options might not be as effortless, there are infinite varieties of plant-based milk products available. My favourite are almond, coconut and hemp. Most of them are fortified with calcium and vitamin D to keep your bones strong, and B12 - a vitamin unique to the animal world - helps with red blood cell formulation.

Easy Meat Swaps: • Try cauliflower rice to replace beef/turkey in things like chili and lasagna • Walnuts and/or lentils to make taco meat or anywhere else ground beef is used (see recipe below) • Use jackfruit (available in packages) to make pulled pork • Portobello mushrooms to make steak strips for fajitas, or to use as burger patties • Eggplant, cauliflower, or tofu sliced thick for steaks • Seitan, tempeh or tofu as meat substitutes • Avocado instead of butter • Black bean burgers instead of beef

Recipe: Hemp Mylk Let’s ditch the dairy. Hemp mylk is a fast, easy, and super delicious alternative for smoothie bases, oatmeal, chia bowls, coffee, or just warmed up at night for that tasty creamy drink. Not only is it easy, it is also a nutritional powerhouse loaded with healthy omega fats, protein, vitamins B, A, E, and minerals like calcium, potassium, magnesium, and zinc. Just mix: 2 cups water 1/4 cup hemp seeds 2-3 dashes of cinnamon 1 tsp vanilla extract 3 dates, pitted (optional) Add ingredients to blender, and blend until smooth, milky and creamy.

For more meatless ideas, check out recipes at www.nourished.ca

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. www.nourished.ca

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WestCoast Families - Jan|Feb 2019  

In our January|February issue: exploring education, the best field trips in BC, and tried, trusted, and trending fundraising ideas. Plus, re...

WestCoast Families - Jan|Feb 2019  

In our January|February issue: exploring education, the best field trips in BC, and tried, trusted, and trending fundraising ideas. Plus, re...

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