Messy Day on July 19 is one of the special beach days sponsored by South Dundas Recreation and the Ontario Early Years Centre. The beaches project is now in its third season with events also taking place in Iroquois. Dozens of children gathered in Morrisburg to enjoy exciting and delightfully messy activities under the supervision of Ben Macpherson, recreation program co-ordinator and Fiona Carr of the Early Years, and the Morrisburg life guards. With magic mud, gooey slime, volcanoes in the sand, face painting, the Duckie wading pool, a slip and slide, Pie in the Eye, and of course, Shaving Cream Musical Chairs, there was little doubt that everyone could be just as messy as they wanted.
Are you looking for a community playgroup for you and your toddler?
The Ontario Early Years Centre (OEYC) returned to Morrisburg on November 7th at the St. James Anglican Church on High Street and every Monday, except for holidays, parents and caregivers are invited to bring their little ones for some social time.
OEYC offers a “comfortable, safe learning environment where parents/caregivers with children 0 – 6 years can come to play and interact with each other. You will find a variety of creative and learning activities during free play, circle time and story time.”
According to OEYC Family Resource Co-ordinatior, Fiona Carr, the sessions are free and the facilities are many.
The church facilities come complete with an elevator. This comes in handy for those who can’t tackle the stairs with two toddlers, a stroller, and a sleeping baby.
In addition, there is a change room as well as a washroom. There is a room for nursing or for quiet play. The main activity room comes complete with a large play space, snack table, and a playdough and crafts table.
The toys are washed frequently in the adjoining kitchen.
Generally, the first couple of hours are for free play and fun. Then, at 11:30, it is time for clean-up and then circle time.
Circle time is filled with songs, stories, instruments, and guided fun.
Carr revealed, “we’re happy here and it’s such a nice space. The parents seem to really like it.”
Go to www.giag.ca for more information. The South Dundas Playgroup has two sites: St. James Anglican Church in Morrisburg (613-360-9934) and Iroquois Public School in Iroquois (613-652-1100).
Adrian Harewood arrived a little late for his speaking engagement with the Canadian Club of Morrisburg and District on Wednesday, May 16.
However, this was understandable.
He was still on air when the banquet began, anchoring CBC News Ottawa, before thousands of viewers.
A renowned journalist, radio host (All in a Day) and respected news commentator, Harewood was the final speaker of the Club’s 2011-2012 series. A large crowd of members and guests was on hand to hear Harewood speak on topic about which he clearly has deep feelings, “Volunteers in the Community.”
Personable, outgoing and a gifted speaker, Harewood quickly won over the audience, with his sense of humour. However, there was a serious point to his address.
Canada, like the rest of the world, has changed, he explained, with traditional communities often lost in the new on-line ‘digital’ societies. This is a world made up of hundreds of “friends” that people have never met, will never meet.
“The digital world is, of course, a great creativity source,” Harwood said, “but one effect of this change is that we are in danger of losing the human touch in our lives. Research has found that more people feel disconnected from society than ever before. People seem to be craving the sense of community life, of simple conversations, of recognition. They share a wish that they actually knew their neighbours. Without reminders of what community can be, we may lose parts of our humanity.”
Harewood grew up in Ottawa, a member of a close-knit family where both parents were community activists. They instilled in their son the strong belief that he had a responsibility to people, even to people he would never know. Other people’s lives needed to matter to him.
“Our home was a place where everyone was welcome. I remember my mother bringing home a Tunisian woman, a woman struggling to gain an education and to leave behind the desperate circumstances of her old life. She was Tunisian, Arabic, a francophone, a Muslim, and a Canadian. She became part of our lives. She was a member of our community.”
Harewood’s parents emphasized the need to be involved with the people in one’s community, to work for justice and freedom. They always stressed that everyone has a responsibility to the community.
Years later, Harewood was interviewing former United States president Bill Clinton, and asked him what he saw as the biggest problem of the 21st century.
“The problem, Clinton told me, lies in the struggle to overcome the differences that divide us as a global community.”
Volunteering, actively and personally getting involved in the life of a community, is vital, Harewood stressed.
“The act of volunteering is the connective tissue that ties our communities together. Volunteers are the civil engineers who build a healthy community. They weave the webs of solidarity and compassion. We cannot survive without the support of others because we are the products of our communities.”
Harewood illustrated how the power of volunteering can bring even the most unlikely people together.
He cited the example, a few months ago, of a drought fund raising concert, arranged by young, educated Somalian activists at the Centre Point Theatre.
“They asked me to volunteer to work with them. But what utterly surprized me, when I saw the entertainment bill, was the highly unlikely presence on it of a country and western band made up of middle-aged, conservative, white men. That’s when I came to understand that those young African men and those middle-aged white men shared in common a profound belief in a cause: they were determined to help their community.”
Volunteering, Harewood said, is a gift to our neighbours, and a gift to ourselves. Volunteers often get back far more than they give in terms of new possibilities, of new ways of looking at the world.
Caring about the community, and doing what one can to help and to work with neighbours, makes all of us “more ‘human,’ human beings.”
Adrian Harewood chose words from the reverend Martin Luther King to conclude his address.
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”
One could say that Morrisburg Public School teacher Jim Lamoureux went the extra mile to bring the world to his grade 3-4 class.
In fact, Lamoureux delivered Japan to his class via an Art Miles Mural Project which linked his students to elementary students in Takasago, Japan.
The project began with an exchange of information on each of the students in the two classes.
“Throughout the project, we shared a lot of things about our schools and about our countries,” says Lamoureux. “We started with an exchange of pictures and information about ourselves and communities.”
The Art Miles Mural Project, is an international movement promoting global peace and harmony through mural art.
It was started to bring people closer together, to create an environment that fosters communication and understanding between cultures, promote literacy and to ultimately, through their own experiences, learn respect for one another.
The project began last September with the information exchange. After the decision was made between the two schools to have a cultural and nature symbols theme, collaboration was carried out on the mural layout.
It was decided the mural would include four large central circles, with smaller circles around the outside edges.
To these circles the students in the two countries would showpiece their cultural/nature artwork.
The mural was started last fall by the students in Japan who filled in every other outer circle with their artwork which includes their country flag, their animals, birds, fish and famous buildings.
In the two central circles the two countries join hands in friendship…the MPS students selecting the late Terry Fox as their ambassador.
After the Japanese students completed their half of the artwork, the mural was shipped to Morrisburg Public School where Lamoureux’ students set to work to finish it.
The MPS artwork features native Canadian animals…the polar bear, the beaver, the moose, our native birds and fish…the parliament buildings in Ottawa, Niagara Falls, the Canadian Flag.
Along the way, the students in the two countries kept in touch. The highlight was a video conference on January 23.
The Morrisburg students returned to their classroom at 6 p.m., on January 23, which was 8 a.m. in Japan.
“The students introduced themselves during the video conference, songs were sung and information was exchanged.”
The MPS artwork continued on the mural until two weeks ago, when it was declared complete and showcased at a school assembly on Thursday, February 28.
Following the presentation, the mural was packed for return shipment to Japan. It is destined to become part of a children’s exhibit that will be travelling and displayed around the world.
“They did a wonderful job, and they are really proud of it,” says Lamoureux, who recorded the students as they worked and posted it to a private YouTube channel. It’s an incredible video.
Many of the students were eager to speak about their contributions to the mural as it was being prepared for shipment.
“I worked on the Niagara Falls part,” explained Lilly Lewis. “We were supposed to make cars, so I drew the limo to make it really cool.”
Kayla Gillard, who provided her artistic talent to help paint the Mountie, said, “the best part of the project was the web conference. That was really neat.” And Airreanna Brown, who contributed to the fish painting, said “everybody getting to get to work together was the best part.” Leah Barkley agreed, adding that it was also neat to hear and then spell some of the Japanese words.
Breanna Kirkwood, whose artwork created the polar bear, thought it was great to have pictures and to learn about the Japanese children.