National Family Week 2011
By Jillian Driessen
Family Resource Programs Canada (FRP Canada) is once again coordinating National Family Week Oct. 3 - 9th. As the most basic unit of society, the family is important and is far too often not given its due. FRP Canada, along with its partners and affiliates offers local MFRCs opportunities to educate, strengthen, and recognize the family unit. Family Resource Programs Canada offers kits, ideas, and opportunities to help recognize National Family Week right across the country. National Family Week has been observed in Canada since 1985.
This year's theme: Turning Your Family’s values into Action, is meant to encourage families to consider their values and how they are or can be a part of everyday life. By exploring your family’s values you can understand what's important to an individual within the family or the family as a whole. By discussing values as a family, a sense of unity and understanding is created. FRP Canada encourages families to act upon their discussion and to put their family’s values into action.
Military Family Resource Centers (MFRC) across Canada often offer special family week programming for military families. These specialized and relevant activities are unique to our military lifestyle. Michelle Thibodeau Wagner, Special Events Coordinator at the Greenwood MFRC, says "National Family week is a time for each and every one of us to reflect on what our family means to us; it’s a time to celebrate just how lucky we are to have those special people in our lives everyday."
She adds, "National Family Week can also be a time to think about how great it is to be part of our larger global military family; one where others have shared similar experiences and understand the sacrifices required of each and every military family."
The Greenwood MFRC, in Kingston, Nova Scotia along with several others, is offering several special Family Week programs:
- The GMFRC Annual Duck Pond Family Walk will take place on Sunday, October 2 from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. at Stronach Park on Bridge Street in Kingston, Nova Scotia. Join the GMFRC and enjoy a fun family scavenger hunt/walk, have a family picture taken, and enjoy a hot dog or hamburger. A great chance for a fun outing with family, neighbours and friends, both old and new.
- The GMFRC Family Costume Swap and Cookie Decorating event will take place on Tuesday October 4 from 9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Gather up all of your old Halloween costumes and bring them down to the GMFRC and swap them for another style or size! There are costumes for all ages! While there, decorate a yummy cookie and enjoy your creation with friends to celebrate this special week.
- The GMFRC’s 3rd Annual Spaghetti Supper is on Wednesday, October 5 at 5:00 p.m. at the Annapolis Café (dining hall). Military families are invited for supper FREE from the GMFRC! Come out and enjoy dinner on us featuring spaghetti, garlic bread, and apple crisp. This event is limited to the first 250 people so come early to avoid disappointment.
The Petawawa MFRC is also offering a week of special programs. Executive Director Kim Hetherington says, “During the week of October 3-9, Canadians in communities across the country will come together for local celebrations during National Family Week. The week provides an opportunity to celebrate families and reflect on their importance in our lives. Several community organizations and clubs from Petawawa and Deep River have come together to offer families a fun filled week of activities.”
- Monday Oct. 3rd: Parent and Tot Swim: 9-10 am at Dundonald Hall. $2 fee and $1 for each additional child. Free with Community Access Card.
- Family Yoga (FREE) 1-2 pm at South Side Community Centre
- Tuesday, Oct. 4th: Public Swim: 7-7:55 pm at Dundonald Hall. Free with Community Access Card.
- Wednesday, Oct. 5th: Mend-A-Bear: 4-6 PM at South Side Community Centre.
- Indoor Rock Climbing (FREE): 7-9 pm at the Rec Plex
- Vinyasa Flow Yoga (FREE): 7:30-9 pm at 115 Deep River Road, Deep River.
- Thursday Oct. 6th: Crazy Fun (FREE): 9-11:30 am at South Side Community Centre.
- Pajama Party (FREE): 6-7 pm at the Petawawa Public Library
- Friday, Oct. 7th: Parent and Tot Swim: 10-11 am $2 fee and $1 for each additional child. Free with CAC.
- Saturday, Oct. 8th: Family Activity: 9am-5pm at Saunder’s Farm. (Departing from South Side Community Centre) $5/person for Deployed families and $10/person for Non-Deployed families
- Public Swim: 2-4 pm at Dundonald Hall. Free with CAC
- Sunday Oct. 9th: Family Skate (FREE): 1-2:30pm at the Petawawa Civic Centre.
And the MFRC in Shilo, Manitoba also has a week of special programming planned. Karen Burton, the Outreach Coordinator at the Shilo MFRC says, “We wanted to get involved in National Family Week because here at the MFRC we believe creating family values is important to building a strong family foundation.
"We partnered with PSP to offer recreation opportunities, activities at the library to plant a love of learning in all of us, and Health Promotions to teach us about Healthy Eating. We all know, meal times are a great way to connect with each other. We are encouraging every one to come out. Couples with or without kids, family values start at home and children learn from others.”
In addition to regular programs, Shilo is offering:
- Monday October 3rd: Pajama Storytime from 6-7 pm at the Shilo Library
- Tuesday October 4th: Bonfire: 5pm at the Shilo Community Centre
- Wednesday, October 5th: Healthy Eating Session: 12-1pm at the Shilo Community Centre.
- Thursday, October 6th: Family Game Night: 6:30-8pm at GSH. Free for GSH Cardholders. $3 drop-in.
- Friday, October 7th: Movie Night and Popcorn (FREE): 7pm at the GSH theatre
- Saturday/Sunday, October 8th and 9th: Family Swim: 12:30-4:30 pm at the GSH Pool. Free for GSH Cardholders, $3 drop-in.
Check out your local MFRC at www.familyforce.ca to find out what special programs it may be offering during National Family Week.