Connecting through COVID-19 Virtual Programming for June!

Dear Families,

We’ve made some changes to our online programming for June, so be sure to read through to see what’s being offered this week!  All of our programs are drop-in, and new participants are always welcome.

 

Kids Connect Support Group- Every Tuesday afternoon 

Many children across BC are missing the social connection with other kids at school and in their communities. Each Tuesday, children 7 – 12 years of age who are blind or partially sighted can connect with each other in our Blind Beginnings Zoom room. This is a place to share struggles, strategies, and successes, but also to play games, tell stories, and make new friends.

When: Tuesdays from 3:45 – 4:45pm
Email carrie@blindbeginnings.ca to register

 

Virtual Parent’s Night Out/Online Parent Support Group – Every 2nd Thursday evening

Parents are invited to connect online, without your children, to share your challenges, frustrations, worries, and strategies for coping. Some of you aren’t seeing all the professionals who normally come into your home to work with your child, some of you are juggling home-schooling and working from home, some of you may have lost your jobs. Whatever your situation, this group is a place to receive support from other parents as well as a registered clinical counselor.

Who can attend: Blind Beginnings parents across BC
When: Every 2nd Thursday at 7:15pm – next session June 18
Email carrie@blindbeginnings.ca to register

 

It’s Accessible Story Time! – Every Friday morning

Many children and parents have described this program as the highlight of their week, and we’re thrilled to be continuing this partnership with the outreach team from the Provincial Resource Centre for the Visually Impaired. Join us on Friday mornings in June for Accessible Story Hour! We’ll read stories, but also provide image description and explain concepts that might be new to some listeners. Following each story listeners can share their thoughts or ask questions about the story.

When: Friday mornings at 9:30am
Email carrie@blindbeginnings.ca to register

 

Active Beginnings: Yoga and Pilates

Members are welcome to register for more than one fitness class if you wish. 

Foundations of Yoga 4-week Program- Wednesdays afternoons 

If you are new to yoga, or you’ve been finding it challenging following our Fitness Friday classes, you might want to register for this 4-week foundations of yoga program offered on Wednesday afternoons through June. In this foundations program, our yoga alliance certified yoga and fitness instructor Whitley Point, will be slowing things down and focusing on familiarizing us with the fundamentals of yoga. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions throughout the class, and recordings of the class can be made available for further practice on your own between classes.

The goal of this program is to provide attendees with the knowledge and confidence to not only attend our virtual intermediate level classes, but also feel confident in the ability to attend a yoga class in the community.

When: Wednesdays from 3:45 – 4:45pm
Email carrie@blindbeginnings.ca to register
Note: It’s not too late to join this program. If you would like a recording of week 1 & 2, we can email that to you prior to Wednesdays class.

Intermediate Yoga Class- Wednesdays afternoons

For those of you who have been enjoying Fitness Fridays, this class is for you. Our Yoga Alliance certified yoga instructor Whitley Point will guide us through different accessible yoga classes each Wednesday. There will be a focus on anatomy and safe movement brought together by direct verbal cueing. As an individual with a visual impairment herself, It is a fundamental aspect of Whitley’s teaching style to speak clearly with straightforward directions to lead a fun and creative class.

Who can attend: Blind Beginnings members with some yoga experience
When: Wednesdays from 5:00 – 6:00pm
Email carrie@blindbeginnings.ca to register

Family Fitness Program (individuals are welcome too)

Join us on Saturdays at 11:00am and move your body. Mom and daughter, Father and son, brother and sister, or any other family combination, this is a chance to do a workout as a family. Throughout June our Saturday workouts will be a Pilates class. We chose Pilates because you can do the entire workout without moving off your yoga matt, and we recognize space might be an issue for some families.

Our Yoga Alliance certified fitness instructor Whitley Point will guide us through different classes each week. There will be a focus on anatomy and safe movement brought together by direct verbal cueing. This is an opportunity for your family to improve your fitness and have fun while doing it.

When: Saturdays at 11:00am
Email carrie@blindbeginnings.ca to register

 

Blind Beginnings Annual General Meeting – Saturday June 20 at 1:00pm

You are invited to our Virtual Annual General Meeting on Saturday June 20. Historically we have always paired our AGM with a family BBQ, but this year, you’ll have to prepare your own lunch prior to the meeting.  We’ll connect at 12:30pm for anyone who wants to bring their lunch and socialize before the meeting. The AGM will begin at 1:00pm. If you need your child to be occupied during the meeting, and you have a second electronic device that can connect to Zoom, we will be creating a supervised break-out room for kids to hang out during the meeting.

A formal invitation to the AGM will be sent later this week with more details about what you can expect.

Who can attend: All Blind Beginnings members
When: Saturday June 20 at 1:00pm

Email carrie@blindbeginnings.ca to register

 

OTHER VIRTUAL PROGRAMS BEING OFFERED LATER IN JUNE INCLUDE: 

Creating Connections – Friday June 26 at 7:00pm

On the last Friday evening of each month youth who are blind or partially sighted 12 years and older are invited to connect online for what we are now calling our Creating Connections Workshop!

Instead of a structured discussion about how to socialize and fit in, we’re just going to socialize and connect. This is a chance to meet some new youth and make some new friends. I think we can safely guarantee some laughter and fun as well.

Who can attend: Children & youth who are blind or partially sighted 12 – 20 years
When: Friday June 26 at 7:00pm

Baby Beginnings Online- Every 2nd Saturday morning

Parents of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers are invited to connect online every second Saturday. We will start with a check-in with an Early Child Vision Specialist from Vision Loss Rehabilitation BC. who will answer your questions. Following, Shawn will lead a facilitated parent discussion where you can share how you and your family are doing.

When: Every 2nd Saturday at 9:30 am – next session June 27

 

How does this work:

You can attend all of these workshops and groups from the comfort of your home using Zoom conferencing. We will send you a link to join each meeting. When you click on the link the first time, it will prompt you to download the app, and then place you in the room. This app allows you to connect with video and audio from your computer, smart phone or tablet. You can also dial-in by phone but dialing-in will provide audio access only.  Zoom allows you to choose to turn your camera on or off, making it possible to see the presenters without being seen yourself if that is your preference. It also allows you to mute if your child is fussing or you have background noise.

How to register:

If you would like to register for any of these programs, please send an email to Carrie at: carrie@blindbeginnings.ca. Registration will remain open as long as these workshops are being offered, and you are welcome to attend as many workshops as you wish.

To register, please include the following:

  • The program(s) you wish to register for
  •  Name of each person registering
  • Ages of any children/youth
  • Email address that we can send the Zoom link to

Blind Beginnings is happy to be able to support our members through this challenging time.

Sincerely,

Shawn Marsolais RCC
Executive Director
Blind Beginnings