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Family Resource Centre honours National Child Day with fun activities

Canada normally celebrates National Child Day on Nov. 20 and has done so since 1993 in recognition of the United Nations’ adoption of two children-centred rights documents.

The sound of children’s laughter and giggles filled the Early Years Family Resource Centre on Nov. 18 as the venue hosted several activities to honour National Child Day.

Canada has celebrated this event — it normally occurs on Nov. 20 — since 1993 in recognition of the United Nations’ adoption of two children-centred documents: the declaration of the rights of the child (1959) and the convention of the rights of the child (1989). By ratifying these documents, Canada has committed to ensuring children are treated with dignity and respect.

There are 54 rights within the Children’s Charter, but the Family Resource Centre (FRC) focused on nine during the event. Those nine included the right to an identity; to choose friends; a name; play and rest; help if hurt; food, clothing and a safe place to live; a safe environment; information; and a good quality education.

Some activities included movement games, building a First Aid kit, book giveaways, making friendship bracelets, playing with Play-Doh, snacks, and winter clothing giveaways.

Mom Nataliia Zenzura and her daughter, Avrora, 3, were one of the first families through the doors. They are from Ukraine, immigrated to Moose Jaw in July and have visited the centre several times since September.

“This is (a) very beautiful, cool, nice (place). My daughter is very happy with (the) centre,” Zenzura said. “She loves the kitchen play area. It is her favourite. And she loves colouring crafts.”

The FRC has helped Avrora to communicate better with other children and learn more English, while she loves books, especially pictures. Zenzura added that she is also excited to accompany her daughter to the centre every week.

“Every child 0 to 18 has a right, so we are just educating and celebrating children, that they all have rights and they all have the right to participate,” explained Wanda Peakman, chair of the Early Childhood Coalition (Moose Jaw region).

Several professional groups participated during the event, including the Moose Jaw Literacy Network, the Early Childhood Intervention Program and Regional KidsFirst, she continued. They play an important role in the community by supporting families, literacy, learning and playing.

“Kids need rights because they’re human beings, and everybody has rights. And I guess it’s our job to advocate and educate everybody on the rights of a child,” Peakman said.

Every day at the FRC is exciting, while it’s always great to see families explore, learn and have fun, she continued. The organization celebrates children daily, while it attempts to promote National Child Day heavily so families and society are more aware of children’s rights.

“It’s a lot of big language and words, so it’s just a fun way to introduce it to families in a family, child-friendly language,” Peakman added.

Another family to attend was the Chows, including mom and dad Heather and Josh and their children Emmitt, 2, and Isabelle, seven days.

“This place is awesome,” Heather said. “He (Emmitt) just loves it. It’s great that there’s no more need to make an appointment (like early in the pandemic).”

The drop-in centre is one of the best rooms because it has so many activities, while it’s also great to see more people again, she continued. Only a few people were allowed in during the height of the pandemic, while only she could accompany her son because of the one-parent, one-child rule.

“It’s nice here because there are things here that we don’t have at home,” Heather added. “Plus, the staff are wonderful.”

The Early Years Family Resource Centre is located at 1250 11th Avenue Northwest.

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