Organizing kids activities is no child's play: under-5's community group celebrates first year

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by: 

Kate Aley

From left, some of the members of the PMP and Comite 0-5 ans: Mark Bradley with Maxim Beaufort-Bradley, Myriam Pipon, Sylvie L'Heureux, Sophie Hunter and Camille Bradley with Tianna Beaufort-Bradley.

They say it takes a village to raise a child and the Parents de la Municipalite de Pontiac (PMP) are determined to create and support that village. The group, backed by a number of provincially-funded groups as well as other local community partners, held their first Annual General Meeting on August 4 at the Community Centre in Luskville.

Launched mid-June in 2015, the PMP's activities have included dancing lessons, workshops on body image and healthy eating, as well as a story-telling hour and a picnic event. PMP organizers estimate at least 40 to 50 families have been part of this years activities.

The AGM was also a chance for the community to ask questions and offer ideas for the coming year. Pontiac2020.ca took the chance to ask PMP administrator Sylvie L'Heureux a few questions about the years' activities and future plans for the group.

Pontiac2020.ca (P2020): Why is it so important to create activities and social events for pre-school children and young families in a rural setting like this?

Parents de la Municipalite de Pontiac (PMP): Offering activities and social events for pre-schoolers boils down to building a sense of community. Not only do the kids get to meet future classmates, but the parents get to build a network of other families who live nearby. In this way, we are also able to support each other; both emotionally (when you feel at your wits' end), and physically (babysitting). When there aren't activities for little ones, many parents go to Gatineau or Ottawa and that just leads to the mindset that you have to drive to the city for everything. When you start going elsewhere for activities and services, you'll probably continue as your children get older. You end up with families who don't feel like they belong to the community and, in many cases (especially for newcomers) there is a sense of isolation. I think families who participate in community activities and events become families who care about the community and are more likely to get involved in making it a better place.

P2020: What do you consider the highlights, the greatest successes, for the PMP in its first year?

PMP: A big highlight for our group is taking the next step and becoming a non-profit organization. We are really proud of the range of activities we managed to put on while juggling work, young children (two newborns in the past six months) and very limited hours in the day. It is so rewarding when we get a big turn-out like for "First Games" soccer (with 37 two to four year olds) or our second Annual Picnic (approximately 45 kids and their parents).

P2020: Who has helped you along your path?

PMP: We're very lucky to have had support from the Municipality in various forms, such as financial support, use of municipal spaces such as the Community Centre and the library, as well as advice from Meghan Lewis on several occasions. The Comité 0-5 ans is also a huge help to us (with funds from Avenir Enfants, as well as help with organising activities) as well as Pontiac en Forme (with funding from Québec en Forme and help in organizing activities). Other community partners include Groupe Action Jeunesse and the Quyon Family Centre and École Vallée des Voyageurs (in Luskville and Quyon). 

P2020: What is the next step?

PMP: Other than recruiting more parents and reaching more families, our next steps are to write our rules and regulations and launch our fall programming. We're very excited to be organizing some new activities such as baby-wearing Latin dance, "Bouge, bouge, bouge!", Parents' Nights, and Breakfast with Santa. We'll also be continuing Story Time, the little library art workshops (Croque-livres) and informative workshops for parents on subjects of interest (such as parenting toddlers).

P2020: Where do you hope the group will go in the future? What are your big dreams?

PMP: Our big dream for PMP 0-5 ans is to be able to organize all the activities we think up! We have so many ideas; we just need more people to get involved. As one of our members, Sophie Hunter Racicot, said, "I want PMP to exist when my kids are parents. I want it to be a resource they can rely on when they are raising their kids". So I guess you could say our hope for the group is that we become a pillar in this community and that we manage to get enough people involved and interested that is keeps going even after our own kids are no longer little.

Contact the PMP through their website to offer help or ideas: http://pmpontiac05.wixsite.com/pmp05
 

 

 

Nos autres nouvelles / Our other News

The beginning of everything: "Origins" watercolour show opens

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by: 

Kate Aley

You are invited to an extraordinarily moving exhibition of new work by renowned Luskville painter, Ruby Ewen.

Entirely painted in watercolour, the pieces immerse the viewer into multiple magical realms of creationism, imagination and classic myth.

Show runs: Friday, June 22 (opening event, 6 -- 8 p.m.) to July 22, 2018

Site: Stone School Gallery, 28 Mill St., Portage du Fort.

Cooking meets trucking at new restaurant

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by: 

Kate Aley

After two years of extensive renovations, Au Coin du Camionneur, also known as Trucker's Corner, opened in Luskville on Sunday June 17. 

Owners Benoit Galipeau and Robert Bergeron have completely reconfigured the building at the corner of the Eardley-Masham Road and Highway 148. New lighting, comfortable seating and large windows that open onto a breezy patio create an inviting ambience.

Building a new future for Pontiac with slaughterhouse project

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by: 

Kate Aley

After five years of planning, construction has now started on the Les Abattoir les Viandes du Pontiac. Set on five acres on the outskirts of Shawville, the slaughterhouse is the brainchild of Quyon entrepreneur Alain Lauzon and three partners, Sofian Elktrousie, Ibrama Diagne and promoter Gilles Langlois.

“We are aiming to be open by end of October,” said Lauzon last week, as he watched forms being set for more concrete to be poured.

Turtle S.O.S.: Save Our Shells!

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Trouble in paradise.

It's June and that means those crazy turtles are once again roaming dirt side roads and busy highways alike; intent on finding mates, water and good nesting places as they have always done, paying no mind to the deadly wheels zooming past. I stop for a lot of turtles at this time of the year and so far we have all lived to fight another day. However I have never seen a turtle stuck in the bone-dry and baking-hot rink at the Luskville Community Centre before. Bad turtle terrain for sure.

Open letter to the Municipality of Pontiac recognizing the work of our municipal firefighters

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by: 

Sandra Barber

To whom it may concern:

Re: Recognition of volunteer Firefighters

While sitting at our dining table enjoying our first coffee of the day on Sunday, May 20 at 6 a.m., my husband and I both heard a very loud “thunk” and wondered what the heck it was. Curiosity motivated my husband to investigate further; he checked our basement, nothing amiss. Checked the living room located on a lower level, noticed a man sitting outside on the guard rail.

Kickin' it: Pontiac youth get into soccer

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by: 

Kate Aley

Some might say that young people are glued to their screens all day and all night. But that's harder to say when so many bright young people are running, kicking, playing and laughing in Luskville every Monday evening.
Community soccer classes started up on Tuesday, May 1st at the Luskville Recreational Park. The two- to four year-olds play in the softball field. The older group, aged five and up, play on the soccer field to the north.

How do rural communities comply with Quebec's Organic Strategy?

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by: 

Kevin Brady

Current Situation:

The Québec residual materials management strategy includes a progressive reduction and an eventual a 'ban' of organic material from municipal landfills by 2020. Municipalities that comply with the policy are eligible for funding to help offset the costs. As with the Municipality of Pontiac, many municipalities have chosen to pass resolutions to initiate door-to-door collection, with costs paid for by the residents.

Get ready, get set, get out: disaster preparedness in a bag

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by: 

Kate Aley

Remember this?

As the Pontiac watches epic levels of flooding in both New Brunswick and B.C. and considers our own possible return to inundation, it's time to let paranoia rear its helpful head and get ready to get out of the house. The concept behind having a so-called Go Bag is to have ready everything you might need to survive, out-of-doors, for about 72 hours... until help arrives or the zombies get you.

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