This past September, 2021, Chances Casino and MATCH Eatery & Public House got together in awareness of Orange Shirt Day to hold a fundraiser amongst their team in support of the Aboriginal Supported Child Development (ASCD) program at the Comox Valley Child Development Association (CVCDA).
At the end of the day, the employees were able to raise a total of $300 and then presented the proceeds to our ASCD team. Our organization was so grateful for the generous donation and ASCD team members, Angie Carter and Heather Grealey quickly got to work on creating the Diversity Inclusion Toolkits. Daina Vanrijt, who was a student with the Supported Child Development program at the time, spent many hours working in consultation with Angie and Heather and was a huge support in creating the toolkits.
The first several toolkits have become a pilot project aiming to support Early Learning Centres around the Comox Valley by providing them inclusive and diverse materials they will be able to seamlessly incorporate into their programming. The main focus of the toolkits is based on cultural inclusion but the kits can be used to support inclusion in all areas (culture, gender, diverse abilities, just to name a few). Some of the items included will be tools, information, resources, toys and materials.
ASCD’s goal is to support cultural inclusion and diversity on an ongoing basis and to avoid cultural inclusion based on tokenism. Creating an environment which celebrates cultural inclusion and diversity in a consistent and inclusive manner is key. Making these toolkits available to our local Early Years Centres will assist in this goal.
After months of planning and preparing the toolkits, the CVCDA’s ASCD team was very excited to have recently started the roll out of the first Diversity Inclusion Toolkits into the community. The first toolkit was piloted through our own CVCDA Early Learning Centre, JumpStart Preschool.
The remaining toolkits will be rolled out in the next few months to several centres for them to use and provide the ASCD team with valuable feedback. The goal of the ASCD program is to gather feedback from the pilot project in order to make the toolkits as useful as possible. The ASCD program will be working in the future to source funds in order to provide toolkits to all Early Learning Centres within the Comox Valley.
More about ASCDP:
The Aboriginal Supported Child Development Program (ASCDP) helps each child involved in the program to successfully participate in the childcare setting of their family’s choice while ensuring cultural safety and cultural sensitivity for Indigenous, Metis, and Inuit children and their families. ASCDP acknowledges the children as gifts from the Creator and appreciates the unique abilities of Indigenous children and their families. We honour the ‘whole’ child, which not only encompasses the physical, social/emotional and mental but also the cultural/spiritual aspects of the child with in the context of their family, extended family, community and culture as whole