Thursday, 14 June 2018 06:29

Achievements celebrated during ECIP Week

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Swift Current and District ECIP Executive Director Wayne Cormier (at left) shows the sensory playroom to Swift Current Canadian Tire General Manager Tyler Lemieux, May 30. Swift Current and District ECIP Executive Director Wayne Cormier (at left) shows the sensory playroom to Swift Current Canadian Tire General Manager Tyler Lemieux, May 30.

The Swift Current and District Early Childhood Intervention Program (ECIP) hosted an open house and barbecue during ECIP Week that also celebrated various other achievements of the organization.

The provincial government proclaimed May 27 to June 2 as ECIP Week in Saskatchewan to recognize the valuable contribution of these programs at 14 locations across the province to support children from birth to school age who experience disability, developmental delays or are at risk of delay.
In addition, the May 30 event at the Swift Current and District ECIP office was a celebration of the organization's 35th anniversary in southwest Saskatchewan and a ribbon cutting was held for the new office space, while recent donations were also recognized.
“We haven’t had a grand opening of this place,” Swift Current and District ECIP Executive Director Wayne Cormier said. “These two donations came in on a timely way, just within the last few weeks. So we thought, why not tie it all in – it’s ECIP Week provincially, it’s our 35th anniversary and we have some key corporate donors that are obviously looking at partnering with us.”
The Swift Current and District ECIP has received a donation of $5,000 from the Canadian Tire store in Swift Current and another donation of $500 from the Swift Current office of Corr Grain Systems.
Swift Current Canadian Tire General Manager Tyler Lemieux said their intention with this donation is to support an initiative with a focus on children and youth.
“We have our own in-house charity Jumpstart, which helps young kids get active,” he noted. “This is kind of getting them even before that stage to help them get the best start in life that they can.”
He toured the ECIP office and he was impressed with the facility and the educational toys that are available to support children with learning and development.
“They have a lot of good equipment and the facility here seems to suit their needs very well,” he said.
Cormier noted that Canadian Tire in Swift Current is very community minded. He felt the rural focus of Corr Grain on providing grain storage and handling systems to farmers was a neat fit with Swift Current and District ECIP, because 60 per cent of families in the program are from communities outside the city.
Swift Current and District ECIP needs to look at additional sources of funding for its activities to supplement the funding from the Ministry of Education.
“Our program received a zero per cent increase in funding in the last three years from provincial government,” he said.
The Swift Current and District ECIP board therefore passed a motion at last year's annual general meeting that fundraising will become a part of the organization's responsibility.
“Until then we had a policy that we do not raise funds,” he said. “Our responsibility was not to raise funds. We changed that now. So now we have a mandate to raise money.”
In addition to the donations from Canadian Tire and Corr Grain Systems, a family with a child in the program made a donation of $1,200 to the organization. All these funds will be used to purchase learning resources for the program.
Another major contribution to the program during the past six months was the donation of sensory playroom equipment to the value of $21,000 from the estate of Durward Seafoot.
The ribbon cutting during the May 30 celebration highlighted the benefits of the larger office space for the program's activities. Swift Current and District ECIP moved to its current location at Walker Place just over two years ago, which made it possible to start centre-based delivery of services with a family interactive observation room and a sensory development room.
The organization is funded to provide services to 40 children on a monthly basis and during the past fiscal year they provided support to over 150 families across the southwest.
“We have not been below 40 families for three years now,” he said. “Last year we had 52, the year before we would have had probably 70. So it fluctuates. ... We’re busting at the seams. I’m not going to say we’re getting close to capacity, but we’re busy.”
Cormier and two other staff members are based at the program's office in Swift Current. Another staff person is working at an office in Maple Creek and the program also has a work space at Nekaneet First Nation.
The Swift Current and District ECIP uses the Maple Creek office for the provision of a new federally funded program.
The childhood enhanced support services program is a specialized initiative that gives support to First Nation families with children or youth between the ages of 6 and 17 with developmental delays or challenges.
The Swift Current and District ECIP is one of 10 ECIP regions in the province that administer this federal program.
Staff do not provide direct services such as tutoring to children, but assist families with information and support to access services.

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Matthew Liebenberg


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