Each year, United Way KFL&A hosts Success by 6 week, a fun-filled week for the littlest members of the community. This year, over 120 free activities and events aimed at children 0-6 years old took place from May 6 to 12 and its fair to say, a good time was had by all.
From Zumba to cupcake decorating, gymnastics to marsh dipping, swim time to skating, touching the trucks to learning about farming, hundreds of children and their caregivers took part throughout the week and many took full advantage of the schedule.
“We’ve been to events yesterday and today and have activities scheduled for the rest of the week too,” said Chrisanna Beck who attended the Marsh Dipping activity at Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority (CRCA) on Tuesday, May 7 with her two young grandchildren. “It has been great. They’ve just moved here from Toronto and it was amazing to have so many free activities to take them to this week.”
CRCA has been a long-time supporter of Success by 6 week, with events running for as long as Marsh Dipping coordinator Stana Luxford Oddie could remember. For her, the events really highlight the need to unplug and connect with one another.
“So often people are so busy and overloaded and when they take time to be outside you can just see their eyes light up and they really shed some layers. It is all about taking the time to connect,” she said. “I think, Success by 6 week really reminds people to get out in their natural settings. It really opens people up to activities that they may not try otherwise and that is really great to see.”
This sentiment also rang true for Jenn Ormsbee, owner of Ormsbee’s Mercantile in South Frontenac. The store hosted their sixth annual Success by 6 event this year and focused on highlighting farming in the area and even brought in some furry friends for kids to interact with.
“Contributing to the community in which we live and do business in will always be a priority for us,” she explained. “We are always looking for ways to keep and enhance our connection with our customers and Success by 6 is a great time for families and friends to gather, spend time together and for us, it may even be a time to bring some new faces from Kingston to see all we have to offer.”
In many cases, bringing in some new faces was a goal for many participants in Success by 6 week including Kingston Community Health Centre. The centre runs regular programs for moms and small children to help with development and parenting, but they are always hoping to attract more people.
“Some moms feel isolated and this group provides a great opportunity for them to come talk with other moms,” said Molly Wright, facilitator of the Infant group At KCHC. “We can give them lots of help and resources. The brain development that happens between 0-3 is so important and we just want to help them focus and make the moments matter.”
Overall, the week proved to be a great success for all involved with some activities attracting more than a 100 people.
“We all know the first six years of a child’s life are the most important and we are so pleased to see so many community members taking advantage,” said Bhavana Varma, President & CEO, United Way of KFL&A. “This is a week of experiences that will, we hope, create long-lasting fun memories for our youngest residents. Thank you to our participating organizations for putting our youngest community members first, and helping all of us to remember to ‘ Take the Time, Make the Moments Matter.‘ ™”