Research has shown that the first six years of life lay the foundation for a person’s life.
A unique provincial partnership that bases its work on this principle is now celebrating its 10th anniversary. Success by 6 helps to ensure that children ages 0-6 develop the emotional, social, cognitive, and physical skills they need as they enter school.
This groundbreaking partnership, bringing together the public, the not-for-profit and the business sectors came together with a vision that it takes a whole community to support families with children under six years of age. Communities understand the needs of their young families and are best positioned to respond to those needs.
“As the Success By 6 Coordinator for the region from mid 2005 through mid 2008, my most treasured memory is having worked with so many wonderful people in the community. Goals were achieved because of their unwavering commitment to young children’s wellbeing and extraordinary generosity in contributing their time, knowledge, ideas and talents,” says Brenda Wagman as she reflects back on her time as coordinator.
Here in Campbell River and surrounding area, some of the programs and projects Success By 6 supports are Friday Family gym at the Sportsplex, Children’s Health Fair, Books for Babies, Campbell River Family Network website, free family swims, National Child Day, family coordinator on Cortes, and parent workshops on Quadra. Over the years many other projects have been supported, such as the Milestone Interactive Kits and Emergency Food Cupboard at Campbell River Family Services.
In British Columbia, Success By 6 was born on May 21, 2003 when the United Way of the Lower Mainland, The Savings and Credit Unions of BC and the BC Government through the Ministry of Children & Family Development signed on to the Early Childhood Development Provincial Partnership.
Over the past 10 years, Success By 6 has built a network of Early Years community coalitions across BC that involve local credit unions, local United Ways and government representatives along with many diverse stakeholders including parents, grandparents, educators, health professionals, local governments, Aboriginal leaders, children’s librarians, recreation coordinators and many more. Collectively they plan how their community’s children can best be supported.
In our community, “Over the past decade Success By 6 has worked tirelessly to build a vibrant community for children in their early years. With only one coordinator and a volunteer board, this organization advocates for young children and provides outreach at multiple events including the Children’s Health Fair, National Child’s Day, and Canada Day– just to name a few. At the same time, its members have shaped our city and our schools by placing early years advocates on city committees and the School District 72 Board of Trustees. The accomplishments of Success By 6 reflect both how deeply the Campbell River community cares about its youngest citizens as well as the unwavering dedication of the organization itself,” said Lisa Scalapino, School District 72 School Psychologist and former coordinator of Understanding the Early Years
Today Success by 6 is a network of over 120 Early Childhood Coalitions in BC that support over 550 communities. For more information visit www.successby6bc.ca, and locally website www.crfamilynetwork.ca.