Parents for action now (PfAN)

Active and Safe Routes to School

From September of 2014 to June 2015, Parents for Action Now has been working on the Active and Safe Routes to School project, made possible by the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s Spark Advocacy Grant. This project focuses on leadership development for newcomer parents in the West End of Toronto through learning about how to implement a school travel plan in their school or community.

Two teams of parent leaders from within PfAN set out to engage two local schools in developing a safe travel plan for children to get to school using active modes of transportation. In each school a committee within the parent council adopted an “Active and Safe Routes to School” project to learn about how kids are currently getting to school, what are the barriers to active modes of transportation, and how they can support improvements in their neighbourhood.

The parent leaders then hosted four workshops for the PfAN group. In four workshops, the group covered topics such as facilitation, making speeches, outreach, and getting involved in your child’s school. Through group activities, break-out sessions and facilitated discussions, parents further realized and developed their engagement capacity and confidence in getting involved in their communities and schools.

  • Seventeen parents actively participated in the four workshops about active and safe routes to school, and built upon their leadership skills.
  • 75% of participants reported to have more confidence to take on leadership roles.
  • 100% of participants reported to have a better understanding of how to get involved in their school and/or community.

Here is some of the great feedback we received from our parent leaders:

“I have more confidence in talking in front of a group of people and to share my ideas. I am more eager to get involved my community and my son’s school in order to take action to improve.”

“I believe seeing us working in this project, (PfAN participants) realized that everyone is capable of achieving a task like this.”

“I’ve learned different ways to work and seek solutions. I’m ready for the next one!”

“I think we can make changes in our own communities if we take action over an issue.”

And from other PfAN participants:

“I know much better the resources that I have available to get involved in my community”

“I have learned the parents’ power in our kids’ life”

Raising Healthy Kids

In fall 2012 and spring 2013 Parent for Action Now was funded through the Rotary foundation to look at parenting issues. We had an amazing time exploring some of the different challenges faced by new immigrants parenting in Canada and we looked at issues like discipline, stress and supported each other in the challenges we faced. We also tried to bring awareness to some of what we learned about parenting and raising healthy children by creating posters that went up in Early Years and community centres near us in multiple languages like French, Mandarin, Japanese and Spanish.

raise healthy children_Eng_French_new option

 

PfAN and Childcare

On December 16, 2014 Parents for Action Now went to visit Queen’s Park as part of a workshop series we were doing on childcare. Having discussed the issue, we wanted to see where some of the policy decisions were being made. We were meeting at Davenport Perth NCHC and the MPP of Davenport, Jonah Schein was someone we knew would be sympathetic to the issue. We brought him a letter we wrote and talked about affordability and the lack of subsidized spots.

We were happy MPP Schein’s great op-ed in the Star a couple of months later where he brings up the importance of childcare. http://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2014/02/25/queens_park_must_strengthen_ontarios_child_care_supports.html

 

 

with jonah schein

PFAN Wins!

Several members of the group participated in Toronto Public Health’s Small Steps to Health contest. Participants were photographed pursuing a healthy lifestyle and three of our shots were chosen to be used on publicity pieces throughout the city. Keep up the good health!

Natural Cosmetics Workshop

As part of learning about the environment Parents for Action Now, participants got a chance to make amazing cosmetics from scratch. We used all natural ingreients like olive oil, beeswax, honey and oats to make our scrubs and balms. Here we see Fouzia from DPNCHC getting busy with the ingredients!

 

PFAN Marches on City Hall

In September 2011 Parents for Action Now participants went down to city hall to protest proposed cuts to childcare. We made great signs and brought the kids for a family friendly protest. City Hall was full of reporters and parents with kids making their voices heard!

Here is some of the media coverage from the protest

The Globe and Mail

http://oneillrealestate.ca/2011/09/26/the-week-rob-ford-learned-to-play-well-with-others/

Toronto Sun

http://www.torontosun.com/2011/09/22/protesters-chide-fords-for-daycare-cuts

Toronto Star

http://www.thestar.com/news/article/1058023–call-the-premier-doug-ford-tells-snack-offering-kids

Inside Toronto

http://www.insidetoronto.com/news/cityhall/article/1109151

CTV

http://toronto.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20110922/daycare-protest-ford-office-110922?hub=TorontoNewHome

Newstalk 1010

http://www.newstalk1010.com/News/localnews/blogentry.aspx?blogEntryID=10292751

Metro News

http://www.newstalk1010.com/News/localnews/blogentry.aspx?blogEntryID=10292751