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Coalition helps children develop qualities to succeed in life



Families of all ages take part in activities at developmental asset-building stations, designed to develop positive qualities in children, as part of Red Deer’s Strengthening Positive Assets & Resiliency in Communities (SPARC) coalition.
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  • Red Deer coalition helps children develop qualities to succeed in life
    Story by Melissa Ballantyne | Photo courtesy of SPARC Red Deer

    RED DEER — Hugs, a giant game of Jenga and an interactive display about gratitude, at first glance, have little in common — but all three play a role in strengthening communities.

    To show gratitude, to be kind and caring to socially engage with others are all considered developmental assets. Fostering these qualities in children is the key focus of Alberta Health Services (AHS) and its partners in the Red Deer Strengthening Positive Assets & Resiliency in Communities (SPARC) coalition.

    “These three activities provide different experiences that help build assets, or positive building blocks, in children,”  says AHS Health Promotion Facilitator Rania Page, also co-chair of the Red Deer SPARC coalition. “There are 40 developmental assets that SPARC wants to educate the community about,” says Paige. “Research shows the higher number of assets a young person has, the more likely they are to succeed in school, make better decisions, have better coping skills and have better overall health.”

    Developmental assets can be both external and internal, and range from family support, a caring neighbourhood, service to others, safety, creative activities, school engagement, integrity, honesty, interpersonal competence and self-esteem.

    There are many ways for families to promote asset-building at home, but many may be unsure of exactly what development assets are, or how to support their children in building them.

    To support families, SPARC offers Simple Connections Stronger Families events. Suitable for families with children ages 6-12, these events build resiliency and teach families more ways to connect.

    Two events have been held in Red Deer so far this year, with a total turnout of more than 600.

    “We’re so happy with the early success of this program,” says Denise Fredeen, AHS Health Promotion Facilitator and SPARC member. “Each event is designed with hands-on activities that give children positive experiences, and help parents recognize the specific assets being built.”

    Games, family meals, constructive use of time, discussions on expectations and boundary-setting all play a role in asset building — and they’re featured in ‘stations’ at these events.

    “A lot of these are things that often come naturally,” adds Paige. “However many parents may not be aware of the total impact they have. These events help foster understanding and enable parents to make that connection. It’s a really simple way to grow healthy, happy kids.”

    The SPARC coalition comprises a number of community groups including: Alberta Health Services, the City of Red Deer, Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools and the Red Deer Public School District.

    For a full list of partners and upcoming events, please SPARCRD on Facebook.

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    Lunch for a Cause on Wednesday



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  • You’re going to eat lunch anyway… so Wednesday, October 24 between 11:30 and 1 PM help GrammaLink-Africa support their friends struggling to bring up their Grandchildren.

    $18 buys you:

    Chilli (Vegetarian available), Homemade Bun, Pumpkin Cupcake, C0ffee/Tea AND.. a Handmade Pottery Bowl!

    It’s the 10th Annual lunch event held by GrammaLink-Africa in support of Grandmothers raising their grandchildren orphaned by HIV/AIDS in Africa.  In 2008 a group of grandmothers based in Red Deer and headed up by Shirley Challoner hosted the first Chilli for a Cause event.  They raised $2,200.00.  In 2017 this event raised $8,000.00!

    Chilli for a Cause

    11:3o am to 1 pm

    Wednesday, October 24

    Gaetz United Church (4758 Ross St)

    All funds raised go to the Stephen Lewis Foundation to fund grassroots projects helping African Grandmothers and their “Grandothers” raise their grandchildren who have been orphaned by the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Sub-Saharan Africa.

    Click here for more information on this incredible project.

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    Get your socks off.. and throw them on the ice!



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  • From United Way Central Alberta

    Saturday is Sockey Night in Red Deer!

    United Way Central Alberta is pleased to announce the TENTH ANNUAL Sockey Night in Red Deer in partnership with the Red Deer Rebels –Saturday, October 20 beginning 7pm at the ENMAX Centrium.

    For weeks United Way has been collecting socks, largely donated by chiropractors in Red Deer, to support a great cause this winter: warm feet for all! This event brings together sports fans of all ages to share in the fun by throwing socks on the ice during the second intermission.

    Sports fans can bring new pairs of socks or purchase them at the game for a chance to win prizes. All proceeds from sock sales go to United Way for investment in more than 40 community programs and services across Central Alberta.

    “This is a great event for our community to come together to help keep people warm through our cold Alberta winter” said Linda Wilson, Co-Chair for United Way Central Alberta.“This will be the 10th year Red Deer Rebels and United Way have partnered for ‘Sockey Night in Red Deer’ to raise funds for the United Way campaign as well as donating such a simpleitem ~ socks, which can have such a huge impact on some of our agencies’ clients.”

    On Monday, October 22, socks will go out for delivery to several of our partner agencies who will make sure they get onto the feet of those who need them most.

    For more information, please contact:
    Brett Speight, CEO , United Way Central Alberta 403.343.3900

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    october, 2018

    wed3oct - 7novoct 310:00 amnov 7RentSmart - CMHA10:00 am - (november 7) 12:00 pm

    thu11oct - 29novoct 115:45 pmnov 29Wellness Recovery Action Planning (WRAP) - CMHA5:45 pm - (november 29) 8:15 pm

    fri19oct - 21oct 1912:00 pmoct 21Red Deer Home Renovation & Design Show12:00 pm - 5:00 pm (21)

    fri19oct - 21oct 195:00 pmoct 21The New Earth Expo5:00 pm - 6:00 pm (21)

    sat20oct - 21oct 2010:00 amoct 21Carswell's Annual Red Deer Christmas Antique, Vintage & Retro Show & Sale10:00 am - 4:00 pm (21)

    wed24oct11:30 amChilli For A Cause - Lunch & A Handmade Pottery BowlA GrammaLink-Africa fundraiser for the Stephen Lewis Foundation11:30 am Mountain Gaetz United Church, 4758, 50 Street, Red Deer, AlbertaEvent Organized By: GrannaLink-Africa

    fri26oct - 28oct 2610:00 amoct 28Our Best to You Craft Sale10:00 am - 5:00 pm (28)

    sat27oct10:00 am- 2:00 pm2018 Red Deer Healthy Smiles Halloween Half Marathon10:00 am - 2:00 pm

    sun28oct10:00 am- 3:00 pmCVMGCA Motorcycle Fall Swapmeet10:00 am - 3:00 pm

    tue30oct - 4novoct 3010:00 amnov 4Canadian Finals Rodeo10:00 am - (november 4) 11:45 pm


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