Courtesy of Steinbachonline.com
Two Steinbach Pistons players attended a pre-kindergarten graduation at the Steinbach Family Resource Centre on Thursday morning.
Players Connor Martin and Tyler Anderson read “The Hungry Little Caterpillar” to the children, played floor hockey with them, and had a craft time. Martin says the craft time was a great way to get to know some of the kids.
“We had a little bit of craft time. They made caterpillar’s to fit with the theme of the book and then a lot of hearts for Valentine’s Day which is coming up this weekend. That was fun to talk to the kids and get to know them a little bit more in that time.”
Martin says they were also able to give the kids their graduation diplomas. He says it means a lot to them to be included in things like this.
“It means everything. The community supports us, especially the kids, so it is awesome to give back. It is just great to see the smiles on the kid’s faces and just have fun with them in their world, whereas they experience us in our world on the ice.”
Ainsley Smith is a student occupational therapist who helps run the program. She says it is a five week program aimed at getting children ready for school by teaching them things like fine motor skills, social skills, sensory awareness, and pre-literacy skills. She says they also help the parents.
“It is also about parent education, so we are giving the parents ideas of what they can do at home to help them be prepared for kindergarten. Even though the kids are getting to do all of the activities, we are slyly putting in parent education. We start each week off with a little bit of parent education bit for them.”
The Executive Director of The Steinbach Family Resource Centre Vicky Olatundun says the program is a collaboration between the resource centre and the University of Manitoba Occupational Therapy Department. She says the kids were totally enamoured with the Pistons players as they read them a story.