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altPARENT COMMITTEE: The Sandbox        

Terms of Reference

Purpose: To motivate and stimulate an interactive relationship between parents, children and teachers, as it pertains to activities, special events and fundraising.

Action: Support which includes fundraising, advocacy, organizing and coordinating special events, source of parenting information, etc.

If you would like to be in contact with the Sandbox and/or be a part of the group, please see Heather and she give you all necessary info.

The Sandbox is open to all.

The History of the Sandbox

On Oct. 2/97, at one of our regular parent nights, the director suggested that the parents have a committee. This suggestion was made because parents come up with wonderful suggestions and as we implement the majority of these; we now do a lot of annual special events as well as all our usual, regular stuff. By the end of this parent night, we had formed a tentative group of individuals and we began meeting in November. At the end of our first meeting, David Winter suggested we call ourselves "The Sandbox" as this is where our children like to hang our and chat/plan so shall we. The name was a hit! The next couple of meetings involved developing a terms of reference and the beginning of a work plan.
By the end of our first "sandy" year (97-98), we had advocated for a change to infant regulations, raised almost enough funds for an intercom, (to be called our "Wintercom" after our first chairperson), had our first decorating night, an angel tree which collected presents for Salvation Army, a sing-a-long at a local seniors complex, family fun day and a yard sale! Busy year!!!

Our second "sandy" year was also productive. We finished raising the "Wintercom" funds through ticket sales, we had a food drive, a change / penny collection for Christmas Daddies, our second annual decorating night, a toy collection for the Honduras, a clothing drive for Bryony House, family fun day, our family breakfast, and we began to develop an information base via a survey and to develop an e-mail system.
Our third year -1999 - 2000: Our committee met once a month from November of 1999 straight through to July of 2000. The committee facilitated our Decorating Night of 1999 (which decorates the center for Christmas), a food drive for the Timberlea Food bank (Dec./99), and then began to prepare for our annual charity events, MD Hopathon, IWK bowlathon, Dreamwalk, & Child Care Awareness Days.  Plans also began early for the Family Fun Day to the Wildlife Park, Family Breakfast and as well as research and plans for a fax lobbying campaign for government funding. The Hopathon was a great success in March. Our Bowlathon was also a huge success with some new aspects to it. Donations were obtained from the superstore of juice and cookies. KIDS R KIDS t-shirts were purchased and put on sale as a fundraiser.
-Research was done into purchasing a proximity reader to replace the existing swipe system as it frequently acts up. A massive fundraiser would be needed for this. Kent sold us a shed for a discount for the back playground when approached by the committee, the committee obtained a community Club Z card for us (just ask for one!), a discount at Zellers on children's computer desks, a donation from Costco of an indoor grill to raffle. The Dreamwalk was not held in our community this year.  Parents made our participation in Child Care Awareness Days an even greater success than previous years.  Family Fun Day to the Wildlife Park was a great time for all even with mediocre damp weather. We had a fabulous turnout of parents and a great picnic inside afterwards.  Our fifth annual Family Breakfast was the best ever. We had the most parent participation ever, with parents cooking and eating and organizing. It was more smoothly carried than ever before and funds were raised which almost completely paid for the event.
-The committee researched the salary enhancement grants that exist and prepared a form letter and then requested the parents throughout the center to begin a large faxxing campaign. It was an enormous success! We also gave the form letter to other private centers. This gained us a meeting with the government which took place on September the 20th/00. We now have to take further action to continue with all the opportunities we have right before us.   A very special event was planned and took place in July 22 of 2000: a Staff Appreciation night. Parents used funds from all the families as well as the t-shirts sales and purchased Boyd's Bear figurines for all the staff and hosted a party for them. The staff were overwhelmed and appreciated it beyond words.

2000 - present:  Our Parent Committee has continued to meet and carry out fabulous tasks.  We have not had annual reports but there are minutes from all of the meetings.    

They have:

continued to plan and organize our special events with us
 they have acquired donations and sponsors for our events as well as various aspects of the program
they have lobbied the government successfully with us for salary enhancement funds for daycare teachers
they assist us in organizing resources
they fundraise for special purchases. Presently as of May 2004, they are raising funds for us to purchase Turtle Buses (2).  
They further develop the rapport with the families and staff
They develop materials to gather information from the families involved thus increasing feedback
they volunteer at our program and special events
they assist in advertising, advocacy, media relations... and well... pretty much everything.