Aim for Success welcomes
Council for Boys and Young Men and Girls Circle
Jan 21st - 24th 2013 - This week Aim for Success is hosting the Council for boys and young men and the girls circle training at the Mckenzie center. The trainers have traveled up from the States to facilitate the program and its the only time this year it will be offered in western Canada, and the first time it has ever been hosted in Drayton valley. The training is being attended by over 65 professionals from across the province and is being hosted at the Mckenzie center. Locally Aim for Success has helped to sponsor 8 professionals taking the training and together we hope to facilitate more Council for boys and young men and girls circle training to our elementary and junior high children & youth in the coming years! To find out more about the program go to
Disconnect to Connect 2013
DCS Most Disconnected Again This Year
By Lesley Allan, Drayton Valley Western Review
Monday, April 8, 2013 11:31:27 MDT AM
As part of a provincial challenge, Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) encouraged families to put down electronics and to leave cell phones at home in order to celebrate Family Day together.
Working with Aim for Success on a local level, FCSS brought that challenge down to an educational level and had local schools working to have students take this initiative home. On Apr. 4 Mayor Moe Hamdon joined the two organizations to announce that Drayton Christian School (DCS) was once again the winning school for Disconnect to Connect during a school assembly.
“They did a great job,” shares Hamdon. “Most of what we do at home these days amazingly comes from our kids. They learn something at school, take it home and that’s how us as parents sometimes get involved.”
“So congratulations to the school for not only making it happen, but also teaching the kids the importance of why we’re doing it,” he adds.
Echoing that sentiment FCSS Co-ordinator, Lola McGhie says that the 14,000 hours submitted by the community was made possible through all the efforts of the schools and with DCS wracking in 2,500 hours themselves it’s obvious the message of family connection is being heard.
“I applaud everyone for moving forward and trying to help us out as a community to achieve a goal,” she shares. “I hope that it’s bringing us all together as a community and I think we should take this opportunity to really look within our own families and realize the importance of spending time together and creating traditions around spending time.”
To help encourage families to reflect on how they can spend more time together, as well as get them involved in the Family Day challenge, FCSS also held a challenge for participants community wise.
Families were asked to submit reflections on activities they did and why they chose to get involved. With so many submissions it was hard to choose but McGhie says the Varty family set themselves apart by really buying into the meaning of Disconnect to Connect.
“Some of the families’ stories were “yes we had family dinner together, and went to the event down at the waste management facility”, and that’s all good, but this family just had a Barbie fashion show, and they made a fort in the living room, and played hide and go seek, and all of that was absolutely free, it was absolutely unorganized it was just lets hang out and do whatever today,” shared McGhie “So that was touching that they spent that time doing it.”
With a full 12 hour day of fun and activities it’s easy to see why mom and dad were happy for bedtime, and one day of fun will lead to even more excitement as the family received a play pass to World Waterpark in West Edmonton Mall.
“We were super excited, well me and my husband were, we actually didn’t tell any of the kids until the assembly so they were super surprised,” shares Jennifer Varty. “They are so stoked now that we get to go to the water park because as a family of six it’s too expensive for us, so they’re super excited.”
“We’d like to say thank you, we’re very honoured that we got picked and very happy about it,” she adds.
With one challenge over, and many to come in the future, the Vartys and everybody involved hope more people will take the time to Disconnect to Connect.
“It seemed like a lot of people I talked to said that they forgot, or just threw it (the information) in the garbage, but it’s so easy,” says Varty. “We did 12 p.m. to 12 a.m., and you don’t have to do 12 hours, but even if every family did one or two hours with each other and handed in their sheets the numbers would grow.”
The numbers each year show that more people in the community are getting involved with Drayton Valley coming in third for the 2012 Disconnect to Connect, and second for 2013 in its category.
McGhie also hopes that like the Vartys, Disconnect to Connect will help families
“It’s really just the vehicle, the whole purpose is to try and get families to spend less time connected to technology and more time connecting as families. It’s hard to get that message out these days because we are so connected,” she says. “It’s a lot of work (organizing it) but I think the message behind it is well worth it, I would just like to figure out how to make it a year long competition opposed to a day long competition.”
Hamdon echoes this sentiment saying the day acts as a reminder that should be carried further than just Family Day.
““It’s a great idea to remind everybody the importance of connecting with your family on a personal level,” he says. “We forget sometimes we’re so tied into the digital media and sometimes we need that reminder. So it’s good to remind everybody at least once a year and hopefully that carries on longer after that.”
For more information on Disconnect to Connect, the winners for 2013 and how you can get involve next Family Day visit www.draytonvalley.ca, or call (780) 514-2204.