Monique and Jason welcome you to the EarlyON program.

Monique and Jason, leaders in the EarlyON Family Resource Program, are looking forward to meeting you and your children!

Our free EarlyON Family Resource Drop-in program is open Monday-Friday from 9:30-12:30 and Saturdays from 10:00am-12:00pm.  It’s a great place for kids to play, sing, read and experience early learning activities.  Program highlights include parent/tot swimming, creative arts, music & movement, and workshops.

Monique Vettraino, RECE

Monique Vettraino, RECE has been the St. Alban’s EarlyOn Program Coordinator for 2 months, but has had years of experience as a participant in the program (and many others in the community) which she has been frequenting for many years with the children in her care.  Monique has quite enjoyed building new relationships and advocating for the children, parents and caregivers at St. Alban’s.  She is enjoying the daily song circles and providing new creative ideas to not only implement in the program but also for families to use at home. 

Jason Melville, Volunteer

Jason Melville has volunteered in a number of programs here at St. Alban’s and has been volunteering in the EarlyON program for 5 years! Jason has worked with the older children in the summer camp and STARS after school program, but says that he has really grown to love working with the 0-4 age group through the EarlyON program.  He especially enjoys using puppets to tell stories to the kids and using different characters’ voices. 

The People of St. Alban’s: Davida and the kids at Humber

by Davida Fullerton
Placement student and former Focus on Youth Employee 
Studying at Humber College Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning
Social Service Worker Diploma Program
Davida is completing a 9 week student placement at our Humber Blvd location

I eagerly wait for the children to arrive at 121 Humber Boulevard. As the children arrive I hear the hall fill with the sounds of laughter and excitement. Their enthusiasm is amazing and I can see they are ready to have fun. The door creaks open and I see different sets eyes peaking in and saying “Hello.”  I laugh and tell them to come inside. The door opens and they move to sit inside to talk and play while I do attendance. When all the kids finally arrive I begin to interview each one, even if only for a few minutes. Here are the questions and their answers.

What do you look forward to most when coming to the Boys and Girls Club?

– Playing
– Having fun
– Seeing my friends
– Summer camp!

From a scale of 1-10 how great is the after school program?
– 7
– 8
– 10
– “11..someone broke the scale!” – says Jeremih

Who’s your favourite staff and why?

– Inca because she taught me how to make gimp – says Shadae 
– Davida because she’s fun and nice – says Jeremih
– Anna from summer because she was funny and nice – says Luckia
– Daliah because she’s funny – says Monique 

What’s something you learned from being at the Club?

– Treat others the way you want to be treated – says Iheem 
– No bullying
– How to swim – says Jeremih
– How to make gimp – says Shadae

Even though some of these kids are still working on reading and writing, they have a lot to say and know more than we think! As they grow up, the people around them need to continue to be positive role models and examples. The after school program gives them a space to be free, hang with friends, complete their homework and stay out of trouble. When they are old enough, they can join the youth program where there are a variety of amazing programs just for them. Working with kids can be challenging at times but it’s definitely worthwhile. Children are the future and soon they will run the world. It is our duty to provide them with the tools to not only grow in the world but thrive and I’m happy to say I’m a part of something that does just that.

The People of St. Alban’s: Lawrence

Meet Lawrence Manu, a staff member in our Jane and Finch community who has been working with us for three years.

What department do you work in?

I am the site lead for the Driftwood Court location in the Jane and Finch Boys and Girls Club community.

What are your favourite activities to do with the kids here?

The children at the Driftwood Court location have shown great strengths when it comes to expressing their feelings and opinions.  Activities such as debating on various topics, role playing scenarios, and having group discussion about their day stands out to me. Visiting other locations to engage in friendly competition, in basketball, soccer and dodge ball has also been some of the most memorable moments.

How do you think working here prepares you for your future?

The Boys and Girls Club has allowed me to absorb several skills that can be utilized in most social worker fields. Practicing patience and understanding different personality traits goes along way and will always be fundamental for future endeavors.  Working with the children has greatly improved my social skills. I have learned how to relay my message effectively by using different tones and body language that can be understood by all. Last but not least, engaging with the children from various backgrounds and cultures has given me a broad sense of the many perspective one may view the world from.

What has been the best part about working here?

The best part about working here is bringing joy and excitement to the children in the program. When you walk into a room and they greet you with smiles and cheers is an amazing feeling in itself and reminds me of the remarkable work I am doing in the community.

What would you tell a parent who is considering signing their child up for a program here?

The Boys and Girls Club serves the community by providing after school homework assistance to those who seek it. We promote outdoor and indoor recreational activity that encourage a healthy physical lifestyle. The overall goal is to provide a safe and structured environment.

The People of St. Alban’s: Fallona

The People of St. Alban’s: Meet Fallona!

Hey everyone! Meet Fallona English. She is currently one of  our STARS after school program staff who has been with St. Alban’s for many years.

If you could choose an imaginary friend, who would you choose and why?
I would choose a fairy god parent because that way they could grant me wishes without being seen.

If you woke up tomorrow as an animal, what animal would you choose to be and why?
I would be a cheetah because they are my favourite animal and they seem so cool or I would be a sloth because they relax and eat all day

How long have you been at St. Alban’s?
I have been at St. Alban’s since I was 12 years old, so about 9 years. I started off going to summer camp and then I learned about all of the different programs St.Alban’s had to offer. After high school, I was so focused on my post secondary studies I stopped going to St. Alban’s but after a year of not going I realized what a great opportunity it would be to work at St. Alban’s based on my program in school.

What age group do you currently work with?
I currently work with the Rockets – so ages 10/11

What is your favourite thing about working at St.Alban’s?
I love my coworkers and how fun they make the environment for me. I love how each child has different bold personalities, I also love how St.Alban’s feels like a second home, I can go to my managers and talk to them like family and when I walk into the building I am always greeted with love and respect.

Do you have any secret talents?
I dont think its a secret but I LOVE the arts, so anything where I can use my creativity like dancing or doing arts and crafts.

If you had a super power, what would it be and why?
I would want to be able to fly because then I would never have to pay for any transportation. I would fly to work, school, the grocery store and even to other countries for vacation!

An Inside Look at the Staff Connections in the Pelham Park Community

Bimage6y Dominique Brown
Administration and Children’s Coordinator of Weston-Mount Dennis & Lawrence Heights

Here in the Pelham Park Community, the “staff and member relationship” is like a big brother/sister relationship. Over the years, myself (Dominique) and Jassimene have been building rapport with the members that attend our programs, and that’s what makes the connection we share deep and special. Continue reading