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Rob Altemeyer, MLA Wolseley
November 21, 2013

Little Red Spirit

Mr. Rob Altemeyer (Wolseley): Mr. Speaker, a caring and supportive learning environment is an integral part of early childhood development. A child's first five years are the essential building blocks to their success later in life. Children are more likely to succeed from a young age if they can begin school healthy, safe and ready to learn, which is exactly what the Little Red Spirit Aboriginal Head Start Program in my constituency provides.

Programs like Manitoba Aboriginal Head Start empower young children with culturally appropriate, early childhood education programs. Teaching in Ojibwa and Cree, Little Red Spirit uses a holistic approach to early childhood development. By promoting positive parenting, nutrition, physical health, literacy and community development, they are helping kids develop the skills they need to become strong, happy and healthy people. They give each child and family the tools they need to grow in every part of their lives.

Little Red Spirit's programing involves children experiencing their culture and language first-hand. From drum making to medicine picking, community walks and field trips, the children are immersed in learning opportunities that promote positive cultural identity. These are truly some of the best ways to encourage confidence and curiosity in our young.

By focusing on the spiritual, emotional, intellectual and physical needs of the child and the parents, Little Red Spirit provides families the opportunities to help themselves grow together. Offering services to families like this, as a whole, means that children and parents alike are supported in ways that strengthen everyone.

I'd like to welcome some of the staff, parents and some of our wonderful young learners from the Little Red Spirit to the Legislative Assembly today. Programs like yours promote stronger communities and stronger families. Little Red Spirit is a fantastic example of how best to our children grow into eager and involved individuals.

Thank you very much.