A brand new Parent Link site in Blackfalds has Family and Community Support Services staff and local families excited about the possibilities for residents.
A celebration held Sept. 21st marked an expansion at the Blackfalds Community Centre which provides much-needed additional program space for the fast growing community.
Another highlight is that there is now a permanent home for Blackfalds Parent Link.
“This day has seemed to be long in the making, and I’m overjoyed to be standing here and sharing it with all of you,” said Sue Bornn, Family and Community Support Services manager.
“This beautiful facility is going to provide a wealth of opportunities for our whole community,” she added. “Blackfalds is also fortunate to be located in the heart of Central Alberta and to have access to so many great agencies and organizations that are interested in partnering with us to serve our community,” she said.
Parent Link offers play groups, learning through play, parent education and family support.
Lacombe County Reeve Paula Law said the town of Blackfalds is nationally-recognized as a community on the move.
“And with a young population that continues to grow, there is a need for facilities to serve its residents,” she added. “Centres, like the one we are standing in today, play an important role as their existence fosters and strengthens the true meaning of community.”
Sue MacDonald, Lacombe FCSS executive director, said the opportunity to come in and partner with this collaboration marked an exciting chapter for the organization.
“We are pleased to bring Blackfalds into the fold and share our model of operations and program development, best practices, mentorship of staff and our experience.
“It’s a meeting place full of opportunities for families to play, grow and learn together. The desire, vision and commitment of the Blackfalds community has been outstanding – so congratulations Blackfalds!”
Another program was detailed during the celebration – Books on the Bus – which will be available on BOLT Transit which links Lacombe, Blackfalds and Red Deer.
The program’s tag line is – ‘Take it, read it, share it’. That’s precisely what passengers are encouraged to do via the unique project.
Meanwhile, Blackfalds Mayor Melodie Stol said that the occasion marked a very exciting day for Blackfalds.
“I have wanted a Parent Link to come to Blackfalds for years. To be able to collaborate and to bring that to Blackfalds and include the expansion of the community hall plus a space for seniors, I’m very proud of that.”
Stol said that Blackfalds is home to more than 1,100 children under the age of five.
“That is huge. So (it’s great) to be able to provide those parents some support services, to make sure their kids are well set up for success as they move into school, and that they as parents aren’t overwhelmed.
“The ability to have a place to come and meet people in similar situations as you and make new friendships, how valuable is that for one’s personal development?”