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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 1, 1975, Lethbridge, Alberta 22 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD Saturday, February 1, She describes position as 'a hybrid job' ECS consultant's duties wide-ranging By LYNNE VAN LUVEN Herald Family Editor Eleven months and hundreds of miles have passed since Gweh Leavitt first assumed duties as early childhood services consul- tant for Southern Alberta. Since then, Mrs. Leavitt has, akin to the old Hank Snow song, "been man." At least, she's been everywhere within the confines of zone six, a sprawling region which extends from Medicine Hat to the Crowsnest Pass, from south of N Calgary to Coutts. "The number is says Mrs. Leavitt, one of the province's seven ECS con- sultants, but within zone 6 at least 60 kindergartens are now operating under early childhood services auspices. She describes her position as "a hybrid job" which takes a variety of forms. "Most of my time has been spent in explaining the grant structure and the philosophy of ECS to different parent says the petite brown haired women whose Welsh brogue rolls and lilts through her every word of speech. Interviewed in her office in the administration building at Lethbridge Community College, surrounded by pots of ivy and African violets, Gwen Leavitt's enthusiasm for her subject is authentic and infectious. "I have had no difficulty, getting parent groups involved with the kindergarten projects in different says Mrs. Leavitt. "I don't know if that's the rule in all areas of the province, but the parents here are very keen." She says each of the parent groups are at different levels of development, and have different ideas and approaches to their in- dividual projects, but describes them all as "hepped up" over kindergarten opportunities for their'children. "My job is that of a emphasizes Mrs. Leavitt. "I can never tell parents to establish a kindergarten they must come to me with the idea. And I can never tell them How to run it only act as a con- sultant and help them with organization. Once parents have formed their local advisroy com- mittee, they may then incor- porate, seek out kindergarten staff and facilities and apply for ECS funding. Mrs. Leavitt says she is not often called in to kindergartens to consult on administrative matters, program development or teacher training. For 18 years an early childhood teacher and specialist in Wales, Mrs. Leavitt also worked as a consultant for a child guidance centre responsible for the Welfare Of children aged from pre school through to 18 years'old. She recalls that her territory in Wales was concentrated within a seven mile long valley; quite a different proposition from driv- ing from Lethbridge to Waterton one day, back home and to Medicine Hat the next day, as she often does here. "I don't mind the says Mrs. Leavitt, "it's just the waste of time involved which irks me." Because of her background, Mrs. Leavitt sees early childhood education as a part of a con- tinuium, something she feels is most helpful in a job as hetrogeneous as hers with ECS. Most recent figures indicate that Southern Alberta kindergartens are being funded with by the department of education. Early Childhood Services operate throughout the province under the sponsorship of four government departments: the department of education, providing the funding; and the departments of culture, youth and recreation, health and social development and advanced education, all of whom provide moral support in the form of resource personnel'. Kindergartens are of two types those for handicapped children, which are the top priority of ECS projects, and those for average or normal children with no apparent dis- abilities. "Parent involvement is essen- says Mrs. Leavitt in a tone that brooks no argument. "There's no way a kindergarten can be a success without parents' input." ECS projects expect parent in- volvement in three major areas support and service, leadership or decision making and development of their own resources as parents. "The way parents implement ECS guidelines depends greatly upon what resources they have available to says Mrs. Leavitt. "For example, parents in Duchess or Etzikom.don't have nearly the same personnel available to them'as Lethbridge kindergartens simply because of the distance factor." She cites the case of the "smallest" ECS program, in- volving three children in the Cardston area who attend kindergarten in each other's homes on alternate, days, as one instance where parents have im- plemented an individual means to meet their youngsters needs. Mrs. Leavitt admits that in- volvement of several govern- ment departments in ECS programming may sometimes be confusing, but says "we can't go it emphasizing that the educationalists need the exper- tise of health nurses and com- munity recreation workers who offer specialized skills. Special education for hand- ciapped children is one of Mrs. Leavitt's heartfelt interests. "We assumed we would reach' 10 per cent of the population we estimate to be she says. "But so far, ECS seems to have served only about three per cent of the handicapped." She says Lethbridge will be the site for an experiment, whereby kindergarten age children will be screened, in an attempt to identify those with handicaps at a very early age, the better to -begin- helping them with their problems. ECS kindergartens, whose set fees are a month, stress the 'global' approach to child development, encouraging physical, intellectual, emotional and social growth. "It's vital the parents unders- tand this says Mrs. Leavitt, "so they won't pressure the teacher to teach only the intellectual skills, in preparation for Grade one. She says the ?rfectiveness (or faults) of the ECS'approach will not be accurately discernable within the next year, when the first crop of kindergarten children reach school age. "It will take about five years before we'll really be able to judge the success of our says Mrs. Leavitt. Now that the programs are es- tablished in so many centres, she anticipates spending more time in the classroom, conducting teacher workshops and programming sessions. Children suffer unnecessarily in divorce courts 'Parents' rights uppermost' HELP US TO HELP OTHERS! The Salvation Army Welfare Services Need Clothing, Furniture, Toyi, HouMhold Effects CALL 321-2160 FOR PICK-UP SERVICE or LEAVE AT S.. UKRAINIAN GREEK ORTHODOX BINGO Ptrmll No. B21MO Sunday, February 2nd 7 p.m. EAGLES HALL 13th St. N. Mini JKkpot Won Eicri Jackpot In 56 Numbers InerMM and riumbar 22 uch or S Cvd> NO ONE UNDER 11 YEARS OF AQE ALLOWED TO PLAY TORONTO (CP) The rights of children and parents can be in conflict if divorce courts award custody or visiting rights to a parent against the wishes of a child, a session of the Ontario Psychiatric Association .was told this week. Dr. Paul Steinhauer, a psy- chiatrist at the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, and an assistant professor of psy- chiatry at the University of Toronto, was speaking to the group's annual meeting. Dr. Angus Hood, medical di- rector of the C. M. Hincks Treatment Centre, Toronto, and an associate professor of psychiatry, agreed with Dr. Steinhauer, saying a child sometimes suffers un- necessarily because a parent wiii not take a stand to protect a child forced to visit the other parent in unhappy cir- cumstances and against the child's wishes. Ruth Nicholson of the Chil- dren's Aid Society, Brace- bridge, Ont., said parents' rights are uppermost with the courts. She said a lawyer has told her of a judge who said a child has no rights and is "the pos- session of its parents and the court's job is to see justice is done to parents." Dr. Gordon Warme of the Hospital for Sick Children, told of a study being con- ducted in California dealing with the relationship of children with their divorced parents. -Tlic HeraU- Family Interest revived in the age-old art of quilting FOR ONE WEEK ONLY OF LADIES' DRESS AND CASUAL SHOES (short broken lines) (Feb. 3 Feb. 10th only) 100 Man-Made Handbags Black, navy, red, brown Price No SI. 9. By ROSEMARY SINGLETON Kitchener-Waterloo Record WATERLOO, Ont. (CP) When a total of 60 registered for a quilting course in the fail at Conestoga. College's Waterloo Centre here, it stunned teacher Sheila Turn- bull. "It was the first time the course was offered and we only expected 12 to 14 she said. "It just proves interest in the age- old craft is very much alive." So many registered, in fact, that a waiting list was set up, with plans for three classes in January. And the classes also includ- ed a man. Rick Hook of Waterloo signed up with his wife. Another man joined 'but dropped out because of other commitments. The quitters ranged in age from 15 to 70 and included young single women, young matrons and grandmothers. "Arid quite revolutionary is the fact that eight Mennonite women, expert in the craft, have volunteered.to assist in said Norman John- stone, 'head of the centre's continuing education division. It was the first time that Men- nohites had helped in a teaching capacity at an even- ing course. "Meraionites have a tre- 'mendous sense of com- said Mrs. Turnbull. "If someone needs help they are always there to give a helping hand." During the first three weeks of the course, Mrs. Turnbull showed how to sew patches and explained the techniques of setting up a frame and ty- ing knots in tuft quilting. The last three weeks of the course involved teaching the students to quilt on the frame. Reasons for taking the course were as varied as the students participating. Ruth Ann Watty of Waterloo, mother of an 18- month-old boy, became interested through magazine articles. "I remembered the quilting bees my mother attended." said Mrs. Watty, "and'l thought it would be fun to try my hand at a small quilt or make quilted cushion covers or wall hangings. Having Mennonites as teachers was a pleasant sur- prise for Debbie Dietrich, who lives on a nearby farm. "All my neighbors are Men- nonites and their skill at quilt- ing got me so interested that I, too, wanted to she said. So it makes it extra nice to be taught by Mennonites." Sharon Teitel, a school teacher, became involved through her interest in antiT ques. Valentine Bridge and Whist Party Tuss., February 4th p.m. SI. Augustine's Parish Hill Prizes Refreshments Sponsored by St. Augustine's A.C.W. (Evening Branch) Door Prizes each IF THE PRICE OF MILK IS TOD HIGH CALL US BEST-0-MILK (LETHBHIDBE) FOR SENSATIONAL SKIM AND PARTIALLY SKIM MILK POWDER OHico: 328-7114 Res. 328-7505 Lynne Van Luven What a performance! The drama took place under the benign, but ever so slightly amused, gaze of Her Majesty. Looking down over her left shoulder upon the assembled petitioners at the special public meeting of the community ser- vices Advisory Committee, The Queen had reason to be diverted. There in the cramped council chambers at City Hall were all the elements of politics and intrigue albeit scaled down from the larger than life elements of provincial and federal politics. Between and 10 p.m. Wednesday, all the basest and noblest of human emotions were evident: greed, back stabbing, professional jealousies, empire-building, self- aggrandisement; social concern, altruism, humility, deter- mination, honesty, grace under pressure. A microcosm of human vice and virtue. Not that all of the eleven groups trying to convince the committee of the worthiness and fundability of their program took themselves totally seriously there were moments of comedy as well. For the price of free the event was probably one of the more instructive and entertaining productions to be staged in Lethbridge for a long, long time. Observational oppor- tunities abounded for the student of human nature. Such performances, such gripping emotion, such cunning presentations. Such slice of life renditions must not pass un- noticed, without some tangible reward for the cast. Therefore, we have invented the Izzy, a short, squat statue of a kneeling supplicant, cast in (what base metal. Presentation of the Izzy cannot help but become an annual event, if the calibre of drama continues at subsequent CSAC meetings. i Deciding the first Izzy winner was almost too easy a shoo in as they say in show biz. In the category of best issue ob- fuscating performance of the year, the Centre for Personal and Community Development won hands down. For a jargonesque performance of epic proportions, for non specific and totally confusing answers, CPCD worker Peter O'Donnell was un- rivalled. Casting such phrases as "developmental "human resource developmental technology" and "group career development" about with gay abandon, Mr. O'Donnell seemed to be incapable of answering even the simplest of questions with a straight "yes" or No wonder CSAC chairwoman Elizabeth Hall remarked with some annoyance that the CPCD seemed to "suffer from a secretive mentality." "I said Mrs. Hall with elegant un- derstatement, "understand an awful lot of your jargon." One of the few clear aspects of the CPCD presentation was the total amount of money sought: More than a few members of the audience (and perhaps the advisory com- could not help but wonder about the effective use of such a sum when the group's spokesmen appeared unable to descend to plain English to express program goals and priorities for their most nebulous program, the counselling ser- vice. Emerald Isle styles to be shown Feb. 17 Styles from the Emerald Isle will be on display in Calgary Feb. 17 when five Irish manufacturers bring their fall fashions to Western Canada. The showing will take place at the Palliser Hotel. This is the first time the manufac- turers have included Calgary in their six week north American tour. Spokesmen say the firms now consider as one of the more im- portant selling areas in Canada. OPENS NEW PROJECT GAZA (AP) Israel has opened a new housing project in the occupied Gaza Strip and officials say it eventually will provide homes for Pale- stinian refugees at one-tenth the cost a Jewish family would pay in Tel Aviv. The showing, arranged by the Irish Export Board, will include men's and women's fashions, including the famous Aran hand knitted sweaters, robes, sports shirts and jackets, tailored coats and suits in leather and suede. F.O.E. BINGO TONIGHT EAGLES HALL N. Every Saturday Night at 8 p.m. 8 Cards for 1.00 or 254 Each Three 7 Number Free Garnet and Free Cards x DOOR PRIZE Gold cards pay double money CASH BINGO TONKhT O'CLOCK HUNGUUN OLD TIMERS HALL ft StM Kick Ml Hr M WM inr) smrfejf phi 2-7 iMter jattitb JACKPOTS NOW and s Canit fir or nek (Located No. 1 Firanall) SALON Its Anniversary No. 1 on Feb. 4 The Salon has been in continuous operation, for one full year, so in celebration Mrs. Grace Sommerville announces Special Rates for one month being offered during the week Feb. 3 through 7 for Memberships and Re- newals. Hours are as usual 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday. SPECIAL RATES Baite Program lUntrmonth With Sauna..'........ lOpwmontn RIQULARRATIS Biite Program fc month With Sauna ;