Kitchener StrongStart

Learning in the spirit of wonder and joy

Tell Me a Story

What is storytelling?  Oral story telling involves telling a story from memory without reading a book or a written script.  The story may vary from each telling depending on the audience.   While we know that reading is very important to children’s development, telling stories to your children has a lot of benefits too.  Studies have shown that storytelling enhance the individual’s social and emotional, cognitive and language skills.  Because there are no pictures, children must use their imaginations to imagine what is happening in the story.  Oral storytelling  also provides opportunities for you to share cultural folktales, exchange narratives between you and your child, create new stories and a bonding environment.   Do you remember any stories from your childhood and how you were feeling when you were listening to those stories?  What kind of connections did you make with the stories and the storyteller?

Here are just some tips on oral storytelling:

  • use eye contact to capture your child’s attention
  • use gestures (body language), intonation, and facial expressions
  • engage your child in the story by asking him/her – what is happening in the story, how do you think the character is feeling
  • ask them to contribute ideas to the story by asking them what do you think is going to happen?

Click here to listen to a story

Try retelling the story.  What other details would you like to add to the story?






StrongStart Re-Opening Information


Burnaby StrongStart Centres will offer a blended model that will include 3 days a week of in-person programming at StrongStart centres, 1 day a week of outdoor exploration at local parks or on school grounds, and 1 day a week of virtual outreach to stay connected to families who aren’t quite ready to visit us in person. Schedules will vary at StrongStart locations and not all centres will be open for in-person programming.

In-person visits will be limited to four families per day (1 parent/guardian per 3 children maximum) in order to maintain safe physical distancing. Outdoor explorations will be limited to ten families per day (1 parent/guardian per 3 children maximum) to maintain safe physical distancing. All in-person programs will run from 9:30am to 11:00am to accommodate cleaning and disinfecting protocols.

There is no drop-in StrongStart. All families (new and returning) must register online for the 2020-21 year. The total number of registered families will determine the number of times per month families can attend an in-person StrongStart program. Burnaby StrongStart programs are available to Burnaby residents only. Families can attend at one location only.

Registration for StrongStart is now open!

How do I register?

  • All new and returning families must register online for the 2020-2021 year.
  • Please register for the StrongStart Centre closest to you home.
  • Click this link, fill out the registration form and submit.
  • Once your registration form is processed, a StrongStart Educator will contact you to schedule your visits (all visits need to be scheduled this year). Please allow time for your registration to be processed.

What do I do when I arrive at the school?

  • Please arrive on time.
  • There will be clear StrongStart signage at the school when you arrive. Follow the signage to the designated outdoor entrance and wait on one of the markers for the StrongStart Educator to welcome you (please do not enter the school building on your own).
  • A Daily Health Check will be done by the educator before you come in to the school or classroom.
  • You and your child(ren) will be required to sanitize your hands prior to entering the school or StrongStart classroom.
  • All adults are required to wear a mask.
  • The StrongStart Educator will sign you in once you arrive.

What will StrongStart look like?

  • In each in-person classroom session there will be a maximum of four families (1 parent/guardian per 3 children maximum).
  • In each outdoor session there will be a maximum of ten families (1 parent/guardian per 3 children maximum).
  • We cannot accommodate childcare providers at this time.
  • All adults must physically distance from each other and children not their own.
  • Children will be encouraged to minimize physical contact with each other, unless part of the same family unit.
  • It is not necessary to attempt to eliminate close contact between children, recognizing the importance of children’s emotional, physical, and developmental needs.
  • Activities that encourage individual play and more space between children, staff, and parents will be organized.
  • StrongStart classrooms will have equipment and materials set up for you and your child(ren) to explore together.
  • Songs, stories, music, and movement will be organized to support physical distancing between adults.
  • Access to washroom facilities is limited but not prohibited. Please use your home facilities before coming to the StrongStart centre.
  • There will be no scheduled library or gym time.
  • Individually packaged snacks will be distributed at the end of each centre visit.

What about illness?

  • Children, adults, and staff should stay at home when they are sick and monitor symptoms for 24 hours or when new symptoms of illness develop, such as:

– Fever
– Chills
– Cough
– Difficulty breathing (in small children this can look like breathing fast or working hard to breathe)
– Loss of sense of smell or taste
– Nausea or vomiting
– Diarrhea

  • If symptoms include fever or difficulty breathing or if symptoms last for more than 24 hours or get worse, seek a health assessment by calling 8-1-1 or a primary care provider and follow their advice.
  • Children or adults who become sick while in the StrongStart setting will be asked go home as soon as possible.
  • Children and staff should:

– Cough or sneeze into their elbow sleeve or a tissue.
– Throw away used tissues and immediately perform hand hygiene (“cover your coughs”).
– Not touch their eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands (“hands below your shoulders”).

  • Access the StrongStart Program Daily Health Check here

StrongStart BC Programs follow the Public Health Guidance for Child Care Settings During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Access the information at

StrongStart Locations will open as early as October 26, 2020.

StrongStart In-Person Classroom and Outdoor Exploration Session locations:

  • Cascade Heights Elementary
  • Edmonds Community School
  • Forest Grove Elementary
  • Lochdale Community School
  • Maywood Community School
  • Stoney Creek Community School
  • Twelfth Avenue Elementary

StrongStart Outdoor Exploration Session locations:

  • Chaffey-Burke Elementary
  • Kitchener Elementary
  • Morley Elementary
  • Second Street Community School
  • Stride Avenue Community School

Please register for the StrongStart Centre closest to your home. Families who register for locations that do not have in-person classroom sessions will be accommodated at another centre. All StrongStart Educators will continue virtual outreach to families.


What are you Thankful for?

This year has been full of challenges and uncertainties for many of us and there are still challenges ahead.  I will not be celebrating Thanksgiving like previous years.  I will be celebrating it with my own household members, and virtually or social distancing with friends and other family member.

Thanksgiving is about family and being grateful.  I am thankful for my family, friends, StrongStart and for my children doing the dishes… just to name a few.  What are you thankful /grateful for…your child had a good night sleep, dressed themselves, had a good day, give you a big hug?  Ask your children what they are thankful for or what makes them happy.

Focusing on gratitude and the simplest things in our everyday life help reduce our anxiety level.  Despite all the challenges that 2020 has brought, it also brought us a sense of appreciation for things that we may have taken for granted pre-pandemic.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Click here to sing along


Baby Teeth Are Important

Baby teeth are important for eating, talking, smiling and holding a space for adult teeth.  The Fraser Health Dental Program is providing free dental clinic services to families with children under 3 years old.  If your child is 3 years and older and needing help with resources or help with dental issues, you can reach them at their direct dental line at 604-918-7606.

Orange Shirt Day

Wednesday, September 30th – Orange Shirt Day  –  is a day when we honour the Indigenous children who were sent away to residential schools in Canada and learn more about the history of those schools.  Orange Shirt Day — and every day — is a reminder that every child matters.  By educating people about residential schools, we foster respect and mutual understanding with all Indigenous people and all communities, thus helping us fight racism and bullying.  Everyone is encouraged to wear Orange.

September 2020

Hello Strong Start Families

I hope you all had a safe and healthy summer and had lots of fun outside in the sun.

It is wonderful to back again.  I missed you all and am excited to be connecting with you again.  This year will continue to be an interesting year as we navigate through these challenging times.

I know many of you are wondering what is happening with StrongStart and when is it going to be open for in person sessions.  Unfortunately, we don’t know yet.

Here is a message from the Burnaby School District:

In September 2020, Burnaby StrongStart BC programs will continue to engage in outreach to families via emails, phone calls, and offering StrongStart services online. 

There is currently no in-person StrongStart BC programs in Burnaby Schools.  

We are looking into a variety of options that will enable us to offer in-person StrongStart BC programs. Programs will be at reduced capacity that are consistent with Stage 2 of the K-12 Education Restart Plan. “Reduced capacity” means that we will limit the number of families attending in order to maintain safe physical distancing. We will also reduce the number of hours per day and/or days per week of StrongStart BC operations to accommodate cleaning and disinfecting protocols.  

Please continue to visit our website for the latest updates. We look forward to when we can welcome you back in person!  Looking forward to connecting with you again!

Starting today, September 21st, I will be back to support you remotely. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you want to get in touch with me.  My email address is

Stay safe and healthy, be kind, be calm.

With Love and a big virtual hug;

Ms. Lan

Happy Summer

Dearest StrongStart Families;

Here we are at the end of 2019/2020 school year – and what a year it has been.  We all have been through so much change and adaptation.  I hope this message finds you all doing well and staying safe.  This is not how I imagined how our last days in StrongStart to be like as we say good-bye for the summer.  I much rather say good-bye in person.
It has been a pleasure and truly a joy meeting and connecting with you all – both in person and virtually.  I love the conversations with the adults and love to watch the children grow and learn.  Thank you to you all for being part of our StrongStart community.
I also want to send good wishes the all the children that will be going to Kindergarten in September.  I know you will have lots of fun and make new friends.
To our younger friends, I hope we will be able to see each other in the Fall.
I wish you all a fun, relaxing and safe summer.  Please refer to the following website for updates about StrongStart.
Other resources that are available in the summer are Information Children at 778-782-3548.
Greater Vancouver Family Services will also be available
Anita Olson (she/her) ECE, BA, MEd
Early Childhood Community Consultant
T 604 525 9144
M 604 723 9548
Ms. Lan

Happy Father’s Day

Dearest Daddies;

I want to wish all the Daddies a Happy Father’s Day.  You play an important role in your children’s lives.  Your love, guidance, care and support help them grow and thrive.  They admire and respect you.  Not all super heroes wear capes.  I hope you all spend the day with your families doing the things you all love to do.  Cherish the day and make memorable memories.  Happy Father’s Day.

Click here to listen to a story 

The Doorbell Rang

I hope you had a chance to cook and bake with your children and tried out the recipes that was posted.  What did you like about the experience?  What work well and what would you do differently?  You can build on or extend this activity by introducing other areas of developments such as visiting a bakery, grow a vegetable garden, read a story about food.   So I am going to read a book that is related to this activity as an extension.

 Click here to listen “The Doorbell Rang”,

written and illustrated by Pat Hutchins,

published by HarperCollins.

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