give at risk children who are economically disadvantaged, the educational,
therapeutic, nutritional, and nurturing supports necessary to gain
an ‘even start’ in their lives. Educational and therapeutic programming
supplied by teams of special needs educators and professional therapists,
on a case managed basis.
These Children are ages 3-5years old from ‘high risk’ homes challenged
by poverty and often attendant neglect, abuse, trauma, or domestic
violence.There may exist drug or alcohol abuse and many children can
be born addicted. Most of our children have experienced some form
of childhood trauma. Children who have experienced childhood trauma
and the effects of poverty, neglect, abuse, and/or domestic violence
experience a 70-90% developmental lag compared to their peers.Three
quarters of these children have no accompanying medical condition.
Poverty is the common denominator among all children enrolled in the
program.Cyclical/enerational poverty, malnutrition, and neglect provide
a consistent backdrop to the EvenStart child’s family environment.
Research in the area of Neurobiology (the study of how the nervous
system works) describes a 'window of opportunity' for the development
of intellectual and emotional capacities in children from birth to
5 years of age. In the Early Childhood field, we have known this for
years. Now, science has caught up. We are learning more and more about
how a child's brain is 'wired' and how we, as a community, can support
our children to grow into healthy and successful adults. .At EvenStart,
we believe that our work with children builds our community's future.
The primary goal of the EvenStart program is to intervene in the lives
of these disadvantaged children and families in order to build resiliency
and improve the child's chances of succeeding in life. The time could
not be better.In our PreSchool Program, we work with the children
to change their social and behavioral patterns by assisting with the
development of resiliency strategies, with the closing of developmental
lags, and by teaching skills that will enhance their success in school
and community. In this way, our program offers both a preventative
and early intervention approach to a population of high-risk children.
Our programs serving these children and their families are located
close to their communities.We operate out of three sites in Calgary(SW,
Central, We annually serve approximately 200 children. We provide
them a centre-based educational and therapy treatment program, with
additional services of transportation and meals provision. We also
support our families through the assignment of donated clothing to
those in need. Most children come to us hungry and many require a
charitable supply of food, clothing, toys, etc., which we provide
them in the way of hampers and other ad hoc family assists.< All children
are provided the same opportunities regardless of family situation.
children are fed, in good health, have access to education, live in
homes that are safe where parents>are assisted in developing skills
that allow them to generate livable income, and where children learn
that they are valued then these children are free to realize their
potential. Through a comprehensive 3-year educational and therapeutic
- To reverse a child’s developmental delays (cognitive, behavioral,
speech and language, physical) from an average of 70-90% to within
5% of childhood ‘norms’.
- To build a child’s resiliency and coping skills to better endure
‘at risk’ environments.
- To enable pre-school children to enter Grade One on an equal footing with more fortunate peers.
- To provide family parenting and resource supports.
- To reduce / eliminate the effects of cyclical poverty on a child’s
promise of school and life success