Back-to-HIPPY: Program Start-up Across Canada

Fall is synonymous with back-to-school for families all across Canada – and back to HIPPY for the families in our Multicultural and Indigenous HIPPY programs! We reached out to our sites all across the country to ask them about the families participating in their HIPPY programs, and what they are excited about for the year ahead.

HIPPY Winnipeg, Mosaic Newcomer Family Resource Network

HIPPY Coordinator: Reem Abdulkader

The year ahead:

We are so excited to have two new HIPPY Home Visitors joining our team who speak Amharic (region: Ethiopia), Tigrigna (regions: Eritrea, Ethiopia), and English.

We are looking forward to a great year with our HIPPY families and children. We intend to continue spreading the gift of learning and growing together, enabling great connections and friendships to be made, and serving more families in the downtown area and the south of the city. Our site is also excited to have more wonderful training and learning opportunities for our Home Visitors.

HIPPY favourites:

Parents in our HIPPY program like hands-on activities such as doing experiments with their children. They also love reading the HIPPY curriculum books together.

HIPPY family recruitment:

Our HIPPY families are recruited from our English classes, through word of mouth, and via HIPPY Home Visitor’s connections.

New Home Visitors for 2019:

We are excited to have two new Home Visitors this year! One of them is a former HIPPY mom who participated in the HIPPY program for two years.

Other programs HIPPY families use at Mosaic:

We offer many programs at Mosaic such as Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada, Play to Learn, and Positive Discipline in Everyday Parenting. All of our HIPPY moms are invited to take part in these programs if they wish.

Number of HIPPY children graduating this year:

We are expecting 15 children will graduate from HIPPY this year!

HIPPY Ottawa, Vanier Community Service Centre

HIPPY Coordinator: Monique Best

The year ahead:

We are looking forward to accompanying two third-year Home Visitors in their transition to find employment or return to school. We are also excited to see through two new partnerships that will allow us to reach the most vulnerable families.

HIPPY family recruitment:

We are constantly looking for new partnerships through which to recruit HIPPY families and my HIPPY “hat” is always on. About 30% of our families are new to HIPPY this year.

New Home Visitors for 2019:

We are super excited to have all seven Home Visitors return this year, including two third-year Home Visitors. Four of these ladies were HIPPY moms. We are also delighted to have a new program officer lead the South team and families. Welcome, Mariam!

Number of HIPPY children graduating this year:

We are expecting a record of 26 graduates this year!

Any other exciting news or highlights? 

The Vanier Community Service Centre is the lead in a multi-partner Facebook group for Francophone Newcomers. You can join their group here.  I am very proud to be able to share this amazing resource with francophone families.

HIPPY Toronto, Working Women Community Centre

HIPPY Coordinator for Victoria Village, Flemingdon/Thorncliffe Park: Charmaine Greenidge

The year ahead:

We are looking forward to getting back with the team of Home Visitors. We have a lot of fun together…at our weekly trainings there is always food to share. So the challenge this year is to steer towards healthy choices (haha). My site piloted the HIPPY Early Language Learning (ELL) project and I am looking forward to see the progress made by the participants over the summer months.

HIPPY favourites:

The most popular activity that we hosted last year was the ‘Cook and Talk’ for HIPPY families in our Hub community kitchen. We shared a recipe for a traditional dish and then prepared it and cooked it together. We also invited a guest speaker to join us. Last year, it was a settlement worker who talked with our HIPPY families about domestic violence. Another popular activity is our workshops: we hosted a balcony gardening workshop last year that was presented by a local horticulturist. HIPPY families received free plants mostly leafy greens (kale, swiss chard, lettuce) to show them how to grow their own food.

Any other exciting news or highlights?

This year we have an opportunity to partner with The Hub to deliver a Food Handling Certification program to HIPPY participants. This certificate allows participants to meet the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s food handling training protocol and the City of Toronto’s requirement for mandatory certification of food handlers. This certification is great for anyone who wants to work in the food industry or prepare, serve, or package food in an establishment.

Indigenous HIPPY, Tsleil-Waututh Nation

HIPPY Coordinator: Meade Manson

The year ahead:

We are looking forward to welcoming new families to the HIPPY program and hopefully starting the SMART (Supporting Mothers and Raising Toddlers) program with the parents of the younger age group.

HIPPY favourites:

I would have to say for the Age 3 group it is always the book “Spot” and the activities they do with the curriculum. For the Age 4 group it is the idea of doing the alphabet book with the pullout sheets from each week, and for the Age 5 group it is usually the visit to the library and maybe getting a library card (as a part of the scavenger hunt they do with the HIPPY curriculum). For group activities we have gotten to go on an outing to Lynn Canyon Lights for the past 2 years and that’s always a hit.

HIPPY family recruitment:

I am from the Tsleil-Waututh community so I usually know which children are in which age groups but I also ask for a list from the daycare as well as a list from Deanna our enrollment staff who does our status cards here in the Nation. As well, I hand out brochures and a flyer on the benefits of HIPPY. Most likely half of the kids in HIPPY program this year will be from new families.

Other programs HIPPY families use at Tsleil-Waututh Nation:

We have a lot of programs happening within the community and a high percentage of my families attend them. Nearly all of the HIPPY families attend family nights at the daycare centre and open gym at the community centre. We just hosted a back-to-school BBQ and because it collided with OrangeShirt Day, the children and staff have received orange shirts that they all wore.

Any other exciting news or highlights?

I have my own office this year and I am so excited about having my own space to store the items and books that I need to deliver Indigenous HIPPY!

HIPPY Calgary, Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association

HIPPY Coordinator: Luz Buritica

The year ahead:

Our HIPPY Home Visitors are feeling more confident with the new curriculum this year and are excited to introduce it to the HIPPY families.

HIPPY favourites:

Some of our HIPPY families’ favourite activities are the memory game, the motor skills-building activities, and the science activities.

HIPPY family recruitment:

Some of our HIPPY families were referred from current and previous HIPPY families. We also participate in door-to-door promotion and presentations at the CIWA LINC classes to spread the word. About half of our families are new to HIPPY this year.

New Home Visitors for 2019:

We are excited to have one new staff member who was previously a mother in the HIPPY program.

Other programs HIPPY families use at CIWA:

LINC (Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada), Healthy Families, Employment Programs at CIWA, Parent Link Centres in Calgary, and Calgary Public Library programs.

Number of HIPPY children graduating this year:

26 children are doing Age 5 curriculum and are expected to graduate this year.

Indigenous HIPPY East Vancouver Hub, Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre Society

HIPPY Coordinator: Osiris Lopez

The year ahead:

We are looking forward to making more community connections and creating new relationships between our program participants. As a team we are looking forward to having more opportunities to learn how to better serve our HIPPY families.

HIPPY favourites:

For the Age 3 group, “Where is Spot” is a popular book, as well as the traditional Indigenous bone game called “Lahal.” For the Age 4 group, the “Discovery” activity week 3 is popular – parents learn to make apple sauce with their child. For the Age 5 group, “The Black Book of Colours” is a favourite.

HIPPY family recruitment:

We recruit families to the HIPPY program by networking in our community; handing our flyers; and speaking to people who work in the community centres, schools, daycares, coffee shops, neighbourhood houses, health centres, etc.

Any other exciting news or highlights?

We are looking forward to the bi-weekly HIPPY family group meetings over other Thursday starting on October 17th from 10:00am to noon.

Check out the rest of our HIPPY site locations here.

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