Partners help families return to the love of learning

By Taylor McClure – Special to Brome County News

In partnership with the Eastern Township’s School Board (ETSB), the Yamaska Literacy Council (YLC), a non-profit organization that provides literacy support services to adults living in Brome-Missisquoi and Haute-Yamaska, will be offering free interactive workshops to families to encourage literacy-rich activities and provide support to parents who may be thinking about getting back to learning. As a part of the ETSB On the Road project, an initiative that was created to provide support to adults wanting to dive back into education, the ETSB and the YLC are coordinating parent-child storytime and activities workshops and parent time workshops to equip families and parents with learning activities they can do right from home.

“We have parent-child story time and different sessions by age for families in Brome-Missisquoi and Haute-Yamaska. We have a limited quantity of books and material so each workshop will feature a story and there will be an activity that is age-appropriate,” said Wendy Seys, executive director of YLC. “Once people register we are getting kits out to them with the books and the materials they might need for the activity.”
The books and activities for parent-child story time are centred around four themes: drama, art, music, and balance. “Balance is mindfulness, breathing, and other activities to centre people. That session will be led by a yoga instructor (Sonia Baillon) who has done workshops with us in the past on breathing to reduce stress,” added Seys.

The Parent Time workshops are all about providing a space for parents to ask questions and to learn from other’s experiences.

“It’s just for parents or aunts, uncles, caregivers, anyone responsible for kids, and we polled parents on what kind of topics are interesting to them. We selected five different topics and there will be different speakers,” explained Seys. “It’s a time to get information. There is a theme of self-care for parents. We got a session on art therapy and one on being a caregiver and caring for yourself at the same time. We are hoping parents will chill out with us and talk to other parents. For parents considering going back to school, we are there with information and to provide support.”

Other workshops centre around the themes of nutrition and ADHD.

“We’ve had some ambassadors, like youth, who have learning disabilities and ADHD, to talk about their experience and we brought them back because people are really interested in hearing from them, about what worked for them and what are their challenges, and it provides support to parents navigating ADHD and learning disabilities in their own families,” mentioned Seys.

Seys said that while many are looking forward to getting back to in-person activities, the workshops will be online. “We found with kids, although they would like to get back in person, people come from such a distance, with little kids it’s hard to find a time that works for everyone, and with the price of gas, people don’t really want to travel right now. People are anxious to get back in person, but are still responding to online activities.”

After two years of interrupted learning, Seys said that families are looking for this type of support.

“Parents have had a pretty tough job in the last two years with interrupted schooling and they need some validation and support. It’s been a big role and I think there are a lot of kids that have struggled with these interruptions and families feel that,” she said. “This is to give them some activities to incorporate naturally into what they already do at home and to provide the support to parents who might want to go back to school. The workshops are not restricted to someone with a goal of going back to school, but we are hoping to reach parents who want some more information about the options available.”

The Parent-Child Storytime and Activities workshops will be taking place on April 6, 13, 20, 27 at 4 p.m. for parents with children between 3 and 6 years old and May 4, 11, 18, 25 at 4 p.m. for parents with children between 7 and 12 years old.

The Parent Time workshops will be taking place on April 25th (learning disabilities), May 2nd (self-care), May 9th (nutrition), May 16th (ADHD), and May 30th (art therapy) at 6 p.m.
Registration can be made at:
• 450-263-7503/866-337-7503
• Facebook @YamaskaLiteracy

For more information about ETSB on the Road, contact Maude Danis-Coulombe, Coordinator in Adult Education of the Eastern Townships School Board at 450-577-1090 or

For more information about literacy services in Brome-Missisquoi and Haute-Yamaska, contact Seys, at 450-263-7503/866-337-7503 or

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