Here’s what we do at Reaching for Rainbows to encourage our girls to discover how courageous, creative, curious and capable they are.
We offer the girls the wonder of a room full of games, toys, materials and activities specifically chosen with their needs in mind and which connect them with a host of mind-growing experiences.
Most of our girls struggle in school, At Reaching for Rainbows, they learn through play without the crushing burden of academic measurement or timelines. Working in their “store”, for example, they get hands-on experience with numbers, writing and reading, not to mention learning what it takes to be a good customer or cashier!
Many of our girls are friendless and bullied. At Reaching for Rainbows they have the chance to meet other vulnerable children who are eager and delighted to form friendships.
Research indicates that, by age four, vulnerable children have heard 15 million fewer words than children in more secure situations. The girls at Reaching for Rainbows thrive under the support, friendship and encouragement of trained staff and volunteers.
Vulnerable children suffer from chronic stress and find it difficult when their environment is chaotic. In our playroom, they enjoy a space that is clean, well-organized, calm and safe, both physically and emotionally.
Vulnerable children are often outsiders, just dying for someone to pay attention to them. Our staff and volunteers are big on listening and gigantic on hugs.
Our girls love snack time. While munching away on healthy food and filling their tummies, they have the most wonderful chats with their buddies, both young and old.
One of the things that vulnerable girls struggle with is feeling powerless. They have trouble grasping concepts in school and they are at the mercy of their peers. At Reaching for Rainbows, they choose the activities in which they want to take part and they work at them at their own pace. This gives them a sense of control that is totally empowering.
Vulnerability can come with behavioural issues. We give the girls a predictable daily routine that focuses on respect and safety, but within which, they are encouraged to explore and to create to their heart’s content.
Vulnerable children are sometimes lost in the system. They often require attention beyond the abilities of our schools and our social agencies to provide.
On the other hand, we have people in this community with time and energy to spare and who believe there is no better way to lead a useful life than to put their talents behind the vulnerable girls of this County. These people believe in the ability of our little girls to overcome their vulnerability. With this kind of passion behind them, how can our girls not succeed?
Staff and Volunteers
The daily doings are managed by a Program Director and an Assistant Program Director, both of whom are qualified teachers, early childhood educators or the equivalent.
Our Directors are supported by as many as 25 dedicated volunteers.
Read more about our team HERE.
How We Are Unique
Our girls attend every week throughout most of the year. Most of them stay with the program for four years.
We embrace girls who are vulnerable. We are not so much about activities as about celebrating and empowering our girls.
Hours and Dates
Monday to Thursday, 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
First Monday in October to the last day in May
The older girls, the Wizards, attend on Mondays.
The younger girls, the Munchkins, attend on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
The groups got their names from the classic movie, The Wizard of Oz, and its lovely theme song, Somewhere Over the Rainbow.
Our girls are recommended to us by the following agencies.
Community Living, Children’s Aid Society, Children’s Mental Health, Queen Elizabeth Public School and St. Gregory Catholic School.
Queen Elizabeth and St. Gregory are the only two schools we are able to serve due to transportation issues.
The children in our program pay not one cent to attend.
All of our funding comes from the generosity of the County community.
We are licensed by the Ministry of Education for up to 30 girls,
15 in the Wizards and 15 in the Munchkins.