Connecting through COVID-19 Virtual Programming for June!

Dear Families,

Thanks so much to those of you who filled out our Connecting Through COVID program surveys. We have taken your suggestions into account to create our online program plan for June. Many programs are continuing, but possibly on a different day or at a different time. Some programs will be scaled back to every two weeks, and our fitness program has expanded to include a Family Fitness class, and a Foundations of Yoga class.

We hope our new plan will work for you and your family and we look forward to connecting with you online very soon. Here is our plan for June:

 

Kids Connect Support Group

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.

Who can attend: Blind Beginnings children aged 7 – 12

When: Tuesdays in June from 3:45 – 4:45pm

 

Teen Time Support Group

Is your teen bored, and missing social interactions with peers? If so, they may want to consider participating in our Teen Time group on Thursday afternoons. Each week, teens can connect in our Blind Beginnings Zoom room.  We’ll start with a check-in to see how everybody is doing. We’ll talk about any challenges or successes teens want to share, and then we’ll have some fun together.

Who can attend: BC Teens 13 – 19 who are blind or partially sighted

When: Thursdays in June from 3:45 – 4:45pm

 

Virtual Parent’s Night Out/Online Parent Support Group

Parents are invited to connect online each week, 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: Thursdays in June at 7:15pm

 

It’s Accessible Story Time! – moving to Friday mornings

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.

Who can attend: Any child in BC

When: Friday mornings in June at 9:30am

 

Active Beginnings: Yoga and Pilates

Members are welcome to attend both the Foundations class and the Intermediate class if you wish. 

Foundations of Yoga 4-week Program

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 familiarizing us with the fundamentals of yoga and fitness. The goal 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 fitness or yoga class in the community. We will cover a range of poses/exercises, as well as discuss how to move safely in a fitness environment.

Who can attend: Any Blind Beginnings member 10 years or older

When: Wednesdays in June from 3:45 – 4:45pm

 

Intermediate Yoga Class

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 in June from 5:00 – 6:00pm

 

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.

Who can attend: Any Blind Beginnings Member with or without your family

When: Saturdays in June at 11:00am

 

Baby Beginnings Online

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.

Who can attend: BC families with children birth to five years of age

When: Saturdays at 9:30am June 13, and 27

 

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

 

Also this month:

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

 

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