2017 is the 20th anniversary of Fair Start!
Throughout the year, 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.
We will use this space to share memories about Fair Start. If you have a fond memory or success story that you would like to share, please let the Fair Start Coordinator know by using the form on the Contact Us page.
We will also use social media to connect and share interesting facts with you. Watch for posts from Fair Start on the Thunder Bay District Health Unit's Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.
"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
"Preschool Communication Services has been lucky to have partnered with Fair Start for so many years because we know that early identification increases the chances for improving communication skills for the children in the District of Thunder Bay. Fair Start has been and continues to be our primary referral source. Many families have found their way to our preschool speech & language programming thanks to Early Fair Start and Junior Kindergarten Fair Start screenings. Congratulations on your 20th anniversary!" - On behalf of Preschool Communication Services and Children's Centre Thunder Bay.
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."
"The Fair Start process allows school staff to have the opportunity to meet the incoming JK students and provide strategies to their families to ensure children are adequately prepared to begin their school career." - Fair Start screener, Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board