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.
Shelly Flint Appointed as New CEO of Westerner Park
Westerner Park, a distinguished agricultural society and premier exhibition venue in the heart of Central Alberta, is pleased to announce Shelly Flint as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO). This decision culminates a thorough and extensive search process, with the Board of Directors expressing their enthusiasm for the promising journey ahead under Shelly’s leadership.
Tyler Nightingale, President of the Board of Directors, shared his excitement about the appointment, stating, “After a comprehensive search, we are thrilled to welcome Shelly. Her extensive experience, skill set, and knowledge align seamlessly with the strategic direction of Westerner Park, ensuring a positive and enduring impact on both the organization and the community at large.”
Tara Lodewyk, Red Deer City Manager, added, “Shelly immediately connected with the mission of Westerner Park and the value it brings to the culture of our city and region. We are looking forward to working together and are confident in her leadership of Westerner Park.”
For the past two decades, Shelly has served as a senior executive, spearheading diverse teams within Alberta’s dynamic entertainment and finance sectors. Her tenure as the former CFO at the Calgary Stampede equips her with a distinctive insight into the intricacies of Westerner Park, enabling her to adeptly navigate its challenges and leverage its opportunities. Coupled with her roots in Central Alberta, Shelly is poised to steer the Park towards growth and long-term sustainability.
Shelly expressed her eagerness to join Westerner Park, saying, “I was thrilled at the opportunity to return to Central Alberta, where I grew up! Leading this purpose-driven organization will allow me to contribute to my community and affect meaningful change.”
Shelly Flint’s robust leadership, commitment to community, and extensive experience makes her an exceptional choice to lead Westerner Park into the future. The entire Westerner Park team eagerly anticipates the positive impact she will bring to this renowned institution.
About Westerner Park
Westerner Park is Central Alberta’s largest tradeshow, agricultural, sports, entertainment, and convention facility. A not-for-profit organization and agricultural society, Westerner Park typically generates $150 million annually in economic activity, hosting over 1,500 events and 1.5 million visitors each year.
The Food Bank Wins
News release from 100 Women Who Care
The room was buzzing with energy and connection on Monday night – what a great way to kick off the fall with a full-house!
Thanks to everyone who joined us, with a special thank you to the 14 new members and their friends who encouraged them to join. There were also a few ladies simply checking out the vibe and we hope to see them again.
We had three excellent, engaging presentations from:
- Judy-Ann Wybenga – Red Deer Food Bank Society
- Jean Stinson – Red Deer Action Group Society
- Lisa Smith – Central Alberta Pregnancy Care Centre
Congratulations to Judy-Ann! Our donations are going to the Red Deer Food Bank Society for their Community Kitchen initiative. We sure hope we get two big cans on the donor board. (Inside joke, ya had to be there! )
There are two ways to make your donations to the Red Deer Food Bank through the Red Deer and District Community Foundation:
- Mail a cheque to the Red Deer & District Community Foundation at 4901 48 St #503, Red Deer, AB T4N 6M4. Please write “100+ Women RD” along with “Red Deer Food Bank” in the memo line.
- Use this link or QR code to donate – just be sure to note Red Deer Food Bank on the online form. If you can, please consider adding $4 to your online donation to cover the Foundation’s processing fees. Simply click on the link to do so – no need to add it to your donation.
The Red Deer and District Community Foundation manages our donations and ensures that they arrive all present and accounted for to the recipient charities. Erin Peden, Executive Director of the RDDCF (and 100+ Women member) gave us an enlightening date on the amazing work happening at the Foundation. It sure had both of us thinking about ways we can support it more.
Thank you Jody Wianko for the update from CMHA. Our donation helped more that 340 people since April.
Kim Mortimer, The SnapHappy Photographer, was everywhere in the room getting great action shots. The sample above from April’s meeting shows what a fun, yet serious, group we are. It’s so great having you at the meetings, Kim. And for bringing friends!
There is so much happening in Central Alberta! Here are a few of the community announcements:
We asked and these gals delivered! Jillian donated a beautiful autumn arrangement and two tickets to the Mustard Seed’s Bowls for Bellies event. Shelley donated a $100 gift certificate from her family business, Twisted Steel Blacksmithing. Annamarie donated a gorgeous fresh bouquet on behalf of Hucal and Edwards Orthodontics.
We asked and you delivered! The Central Alberta Women’s Emergency Shelter and Safe Harbour Society are very grateful for the generous donations of toiletries and personal care items.
It was great to see so many people arrive early to socialize and a number that stuck around after the meeting to keep the evening’s energy going. Thank you to Mary Warrener, Samantha Sheridan and Gail Bellanger for all their help at the registration desk, collecting and counting ballots, and generally keeping us organized. Thanks also to everyone who assisted with the post-meeting clean up. We hardly had to lift a finger and it gave us a chance to visit a few of you.
And lastly – aargh – EMAIL ISSUES! We have heard from many of you that you’re not getting our emails, so we took some time before sending this out to restructure our email list. Fingers crossed that it worked! Please respond to the read request. This will help us gauge who is and who isn’t getting the emails. Please compare notes with your 100+ Women friends, too, by asking if they received this email and letting us know if there are still gaps. Our apologies to everyone who hasn’t been in the loop and we that this is rectified “toot sweet” .
NEXT MEETING: MONDAY, NOVEMBER 27.
With so much gratitude to all of you,
Cindy and Susan
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