On Sunday, November 3rd, 2019 the Comox Valley Child Development Association (CVCDA) will host our 44th Annual Children’s Telethon at the Sid Williams Theatre from 12 noon to 8 p.m. Each year the Telethon raises funds contributing to the overall operating costs here at the CVCDA including, the 13 different programs operating under our umbrella.

This year there is one additional project we have our eye on achieving with funds raised from the annual Telethon. The plans are to build on our existing outdoor play space realized through the generous fundraising of the Comox Valley McHappy Day and evolving it in to a Natural Playground. This will be a space designed to make use of existing topography and natural materials and create an open-ended outdoor play area for children to make discoveries and interact with their environment.

A Natural Playground will allow kids to further develop many important skills and, unlike traditional plastic style playgrounds, they can be more welcoming for children with diverse abilities. “It’s a bit of a dream for us to be able to provide these little extras for our kids with a unique outdoor space, while also rounding out our facilities here at the CVCDA.” said Joanne Schroeder, Executive Director. The context of this new play space would provide an additional resource for our Child Development Professionals for achieving the goals of each of their various clients by encouraging imaginative play, improving social skills and aiding in the development of motor skills.

The design of the Natural playground will involve bringing nature to the children’s daily outdoor play and learning environment. The CVCDA plans to incorporate the surrounding landscape and vegetation including boulders, logs and a water feature. We also plan to apply the loose parts play concept providing the opportunity for more kinds of play than occurs with standard play equipment. Also, children can experiment with their physical and creative abilities by manipulating found loose objects. These playground accessories could consist of both natural and created materials such as rock piles, leaves, tires, sand and can take on the form of whatever is imagined.

For those interested in supporting the CVCDA and their Natural Playground initiative, there are a number of ways to contribute to this year’s Telethon fundraising goals. Their 2019 Silent Auction is now open for bidding online or you can bid in person during the Telethon. Supporters are also encouraged to make a pledge during the Telethon, where there will be volunteers ready to take your calls (250-334-9200) and receive your donations in person throughout the live Shaw Spotlight broadcast. Donations can additionally be made any time before or after the Telethon via our website or through our main reception (237 – Third Street, 250-338-4288). And finally, by purchasing tickets in our annual Raffle, with one of two prizes to be won including a return flight for 2 anywhere WestJet flies or a Deluxe Raffle Basket valued at $2,900. Visit CVCDA.CA for ticket locations and all other details.

The Comox Valley Child Development Association is a non-profit organization locally supporting children, youth and adults with diverse abilities and their families for 45 years. In 2018, over 1000 Comox Valley children and their families used services at the CVCDA. All of the CVCDA’s programs are designed to not only enrich the lives of the people who access these services but also to contribute to a stronger Comox Valley that welcomes and includes everyone who lives here.