PLASP’s 2016 Parent and Community Meeting, held at the International Centre, was a tremendous success. Almost 900 people attended, including parents, community members and staff. Greetings were brought by special guests Minister Indira Naido-Harris, from the Ministry of Education; Mayor Linda Jeffrey, City of Brampton, Mayor Allan Thompson, Town of Caledon; Marianne Mazzorato, Director of Education and Mario Pascucci, Chair and Trustee, Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board; Tony Pontes, Director of Education and Janet McDougald, Chair and Trustee, Peel District School Board; Angela Gauthier, Director of Education, and Angela Kennedy, Chair and Trustee, Toronto Catholic District School Board; and Dianne Riehl, Early Years Program Co-ordinator, Toronto District School Board.
Special Guests at the PLASP Annual Parent and Community Meeting on October 24, 2016 at the International Centre included, from left to right: Paul Street, President, PLASP Board of Directors; Mayor Linda Jeffrey, City of Brampton; Minister Indira Naido-Harris, Associate Minister of Education, Early Years and Child Care from the Ministry of Education, Lynn Hiebert, PLASP CEO and Mayor Allan Thompson, Town of Caledon.
Paul Street, President, PLASP Board of Directors, presented the President’s Report covering highlights from the 2015-2016 year, including the growth in services, and the opening of new programs. In 2015-2016, PLASP cared for 13,346 children from 10,261 families in 219 school locations, of which 210 have school age programs, 190 have kindergarten programs and 22 have early learning and child care centres.
“What does life after 40 look like for PLASP?” asked PLASP CEO Lynn Hiebert, during her CEO’s report, acknowledging the celebration of PLASP’s 40th Anniversary. “We spent this year engaged in the process of strategic plan renewal and reviewing our vision, mission and core values,” Lynn added. “Throughout the process, it was clear that our core values remain the same and that children are at the heart of everything we do.” Ram Venkat, past Treasurer, PLASP Board of Directors, gave the Treasurer's Report.
Dr. Alex Russell, Clinical Psychologist and author of Drop the Worry Ball provided the keynote, speaking with parents on how to parent courageously and responsibly by allowing kids to be who they are. “When it comes to attending to our children’s needs and keeping them safe, today’s parents are better than any parents in human history,” said Dr. Russell. “However, we can overdo it – keeping them so safe they don’t learn to look out for themselves, satisfying their needs so much they come to believe they are entitled to it. Probably, the most important thing modern parents can do is also allow their children to have an “apprenticeship in reality,” giving them room to explore the world around them in their own way and even make some mistakes along the way, trusting that they will learn and grow from these experiences.”
More than 25 donors sponsored the 2016 Parent and Community Meeting and were recognized and thanked for their financial assistance in making the event possible. Lead sponsors for the evening were Grocery Gateway by Longo’s, Mississauga News, Brampton Guardian, and Etobicoke Guardian. All donors are listed in the downloadable 2016 Annual Report.