20th Anniversary



2017 is the 20th anniversary of Fair Start!

Fair Start is celebrating 20 years of screening children's development in the City and District of Thunder Bay.

We appreciate and want to recognize the thousands of families who have attended Fair Start screenings, and the organizations, screeners and service providers who have collaborated with Fair Start, since our first screening in 1997.

"Fair Start screening has been a beneficial, rewarding opportunity in a professional and personal context for me. As a teacher, I have seen the benefit of early identification for children entering Junior Kindergarten. As an Infant/Child Development worker, it was valuable to have a tool for quantifying early developmental concerns. It is also appreciated to offer a community screening in order to access at-risk 18 month olds. As a parent, my children have gone through the process of screening and I found it valuable to have areas needing more attention pointed out through a screening. Because Fair Start is comprised of several different tools and gives an opportunity to measure children’s development against developmental norms, it is valuable for comforting parents and giving them an idea of areas they may want to put some effort into." - Fair Start Screener, District of Thunder Bay
"Fair Start has been a fantastic screening tool for children entering JK. Individual screening results indicate if interventions are required to allow 'Every Child To have a Fair Start' to their education. Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board has been proud to be part of this process for 20 wonderful years."
"We should be proud that the Fair Start program is unique to Thunder Bay and District. It offers an opportunity for early screening to children in our communities who might not otherwise be identified until school entry. Monitoring development at the early stages is important to ensuring healthy child development and providing an opportunity for early intervention where support may be needed.
It has been beneficial to work with so many other community organizations as part of the Fair Start initiative. The opportunity for collaboration, networking and sharing of resources is invaluable. It has truly been a community initiative from the early beginnings of the program that has grown to a much larger network of organizations and community members working together and committed to ensuring our children receive a 'fair start' towards healthy development." - George Jeffrey Children's Centre

"Fairstart nous permet de connaitre les besoins des élèves et d’y répondre le plus tôt possible. Cela nous permet aussi de connaitre les enfants et les familles pour les diriger vers les services dont ils ont besoin afin de mieux les accueillir dans nos écoles." - Geneviève Fortin-Robinson, Conseil scolaire de district catholique des Aurores boréales.

How has Fair Start made a positive difference in the lives of children in our communities over the past 20 years?  "Helping families acquire services to help children develop to become successful in their lives. Some people do not know the developmental stages or services and this helps parents support their children and give them what they need at appropriate times."

What is the most rewarding aspect of the Fair Start program for you personally?  "As a screener I love meeting the children who will start Junior Kindergarten and doing the screen. The children have fun, and then when they see me in September it has helped students feel safe having met one of the teachers and having a fun experience to help with their introduction to school."

What benefit does Fair Start provide to Thunder Bay and District?  "Many parents have questions about what they can be doing to get their child ready for school, and the Fair Start screen has helped them engage and teach their child skills they did not know a 4 year old could do."

"For those families that are involved with the Healthy Babies Healthy Children Blended Home Visiting Program, Public Health Nurses that are trained with Fair Start screening are able to do the screening in a child's home setting. This is beneficial for clients because the child has already developed a relationship with the screener and screening is being completed in the child's home environment." - Public Health Nurse, Thunder Bay District Health Unit




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