The Hula Hoop Surprise!

Langham Tailors Plans for Future Summer Programming

Summer youth programming in many Saskatchewan communities offers summertime activities and crafts, especially for those who remain at home through July and August. Although summer crafts and games are fun-filled activities, here's how one community plans to broaden and bolster interest in its future summer youth programming.

This summer the Town of Langham offered programming with various crafts, hip-hop dance lessons and skateboard instruction for ages five through sixteen. Participation averaged ten youth daily, ebbing in July when many families begin vacation, visit relatives or children attend camp, then gradually increasing in latter summer.

"The goal of our (Langham) summer programming is to provide activities that stimulate and appeal to youth and adolescents." says Corinne Waldner, recreation director with the Town of Langham. "When their interests are captured and they learn a new skill or technique, then return and bring friends so more join in, that's when we know we've met the mark!"

The challenge is to keep on top of what captures the changing interests of youth and adolescents.  What's great now may not be quite as popular in a few months. So Waldner does her homework...checking online, inviting comments and ideas through the Town's social media venues, talking with youth groups and nearby community leaders, even reading leisure community guides from larger centres like Saskatoon and North Battleford.

"It's been an educational summer for  me." says Waldner. "We were thrilled to have a record crowd at our skateboarding demonstration on August 14, and we're pleasantly surprised and excited about a growing interest in learning how to Hula Hoop!"

Waldner concludes that trends are the answer and forming partnerships may be the key. She explains that Langham's community library has also offered great summer programming, so by pooling reosurces, the Town of Langham could accommodate a broader variety of interests and some exciting, innovative features for next summer season.

Langham is located one-half hour by vehicle northwest of Saskatoon.



Activities at Langham, Summer 2013.  Photo credit:  Community Initiatives Fund (Hogarth Photography).

Posted in CIF News

CIF Supports Summer Sun Fun at Caronport

With many young children and few places for summertime play, community leaders in Caronport accepted the challenge and planned for their town's water park play site. Within the year they had their prize:  a great spray and play park used by more than 40 children daily during spring and summer months.

Caronport's spray park was completed and opened in June 2012 and has since provided countless hours of water fun for the young and the young-at-heart. And while attracting toddlers to teens, the spray park soon evolved as much more than a community play area!

"We saw this (spray park) as a play centre for children and clearly, that's how it is." says Dave Carter, Recreation Board President in Caronport.  "What we didn't consider was how this park would also serve as a meeting place for the parents and other families!"

"It's a great place for kids of all ages, but the bonus is--and it's a huge one--the spray park is now the spot in our community where families come together. Our families meet here, get to know each other. They share part of their lives and new friendships are formed. It's transforming our community because we've never had anything like this before!" says Carter.

Carter explains that many young families come to Caronport to study theology or for business and leadership training as well as to work in the area. He's amazed and very pleased with how the community spray park is helping address the needs of newcomers and long-standing residents, from toddlers and young families to adults and grandparents through this common meeting place.

Caronport's fundraising and planning team had some fun, as well.

"I can barely describe the impact on our (fundraising) committee when the Community Initiatives Fund (CIF) informed us of our $50,000 grant. We were overjoyed!" says Brandy Magnus, Caronport's spray park committee chair. "We had researched and planned every detail. But until we learned about getting that grant, all this (spray park) was kind of a dream. After that grant, though, it was almost easy to garner matching community support! We never would have accomplished this without the CIF!"

Magnus describes their planning activities. They formed a committee of three and received village approval to develop the area. Wal-Berg Enterprises bought the right to name the park, now called "Wal-Berg Enterprises Spray Park." Local businesses from Caronport and Moose Jaw contributed an additional $30,000. When any employee of Briercrest College donated $125, the College matched the donation. Then local community contributions were sought. Many families and small businesses bought a $250 brick, each to be inscribed and placed at the park entrance. And through all this, community volunteers worked tirelessly for more funds. And effectively! When they exceeded their target--by almost $10,000--a small playground structure was added to the park.

Caronport is proving that success is contagious. Community plans are now underway to develop the Caronport Walking Trail with a recently approved $5,000 grant from the Community Initiatives Fund.

Caronport is 95 km (60 mi) by vehicle west of Regina on the north side of the TransCanada Highway.


ABOVE:  A large metal mushroom, ladybird beetle, cattail and flowers adorn the spray park at Caronport, Saskatchewan.  Photo credit:  Community Initiatives Fund (Calvin Fehr Photography).

RIGHT:  Caronport's mayor, Bob Clark, walks part of the planned Caronport Community Trail with his two black labs.  Photo credit:  Community Initiatives Fund (Calvin Fehr Photography).

Posted in CIF News

CIF Grant Helps Create Great Lanigan Playground!

Recesses at Lanigan’s Elementary Now More Memorable!

Working long and tirelessly, five moms from the Lanigan Elementary School formed a Playground Fundraising Committee, determined to earn double-digit thousands for their school’s new playground. When other communities around them received grants for playground facilities from the Community Initiatives Fund (CIF), the path became clear. In April 2012, Lanigan Elementary School received a $20,000 grant from the CIF, setting the stage for a host of new playground equipment.

“My memories of school revert to recesses, the fun we all had playing on the swings and slides and monkey bars.” says Danielle Knudsen, chair of the Lanigan Elementary School Playground Committee. “So when our children’s playground no longer met standards and the one big slide had to be removed, we knew we had to do something!” 

Fundraising for Lanigan Elementary School’s new playground equipment involved young and old, the school and businesses, and included some innovative activities. 

“We sold raffle tickets for bikes donated by Centennial Ford in Watrous.” says Knudsen.  “We auctioned some great pies at Jansen Steakfry, hosted by Jansen Kinsmen. The school held a Skate-a-thon where parents and grandparents made pledges to the students. We also held a Ride a Ford event with the Watrous Centennial Ford dealership. Ford donated $20 to us (Lanigan Elementary School Playground Committee) each time someone test drove one of their vehicles. Centennial Ford also donated two bikes for raffle with tickets sold by school children.”

“When the Community Initiatives Fund gave us a $20,000 grant, that (grant) became the catalyst, and Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan donated the rest!” says Knudsen. “The new playground equipment was then installed before school opened last September, one whole year ahead of schedule!”

Lanigan Elementary School’s new playground was purchased from an equipment company from nearby Watson. This company’s representative supervised as volunteer community members placed and secured the new playground equipment.

This year about 130 children use the new playground at the Lanigan Elementary School, many returning in the evenings to add even a little more fun to their day.

Lanigan is 125 km (77 mi) southeast of Saskatoon.


Photo credit:  Danielle Knudsen

Posted in Archived

Small But Mighty! CIF Helps Dodsland Celebrate 100 Years!

In tenacious Saskatchewan fashion, Dodsland is planning its celebration of the Century! This west central Saskatchewan village of about 200 residents will soon host hundreds more as those young and old, from far and near, will retrace their roots and return to celebrate their village’s pride, history and longevity this June.

From car shows to slow pitch, face painting to pie making contests, Dodsland is the place to be June 7th to 9th. Its Saturday morning parade now holds over 50 entries and the weekend’s attendance numbers promise to top 700! With a carnival atmosphere and an unveiling to commemorate its heritage, village residents and volunteers, service groups and local industries are stepping up and standing tall in both planning and presence for Dodsland’s Centennial.

“We’re expanding our campground areas, anticipating we’ll need more RV parking and hotel accommodations.” says Regan MacDonald, administrator of the R.M. of Winslow and Village of Dodsland representative. “Proudly celebrating this community milestone is attracting a lot of people. Just yesterday we learned of a family who now lives in Homewood, Alabama who will return home (to Dodsland) to help us celebrate!”

Planning for the Dodsland event began well over a year ago and has been regularly injected with encouragement and generosity. The Dodsland Centennial Committee received in-kind contributions from many dedicated volunteers and the Lions’ service club, and financial and service contributions by local industries and businesses in support of the event.

“Our grant from the Community Initiatives Fund made it all come together.” says MacDonald. “We are small in numbers but we’re proving we can work well together and get things done, all the while unifying our pride in this great community!”

“Centennial events like those in Dodsland not only help celebrate Saskatchewan’s history and community achievements. They also bring people together with pride and purpose.” says Tracey Mann, executive director, Community Initiatives Fund. “We (Community Initiatives Fund) are pleased to have contributed to Dodsland’s celebrations.”


Adjacent to the Dodsland townsite, in one week's time this vacant ball diamond will accommodate a children's festival and some ball games as Dodsland celebrates a sustainable 100 years. 

Photo credit:  Dodsland Centennial Committee.

Posted in CIF News

Bullying Rebuked!

CIF Grant Supports Humboldt Anti-Bullying Workshop


Fourteen adults—all women—gathered in Humboldt April 23-24, 2013 with a strong, common interest:  to learn more about bullying and help prevent its existence in their respective communities.

The St. Dominic School Community Council, in partnership with the Canadian Red Cross, delivered a two-day workshop about bullying to school community council members from Humboldt and nearby communities. By completing the Beyond the Hurt Bullying Prevention workshop, these adults become informed and equipped with tools and techniques to help manage or dispel this aggressive and harmful behavior. Each person could also continue to educate parents and others about the impact of bullying and harassment, especially on youth, offering strategies to families to help reduce or eliminate bullying, violence and abuse. Earlier in the year, St. Dominic’s School Community Council formed an anti-bullying initiatives committee known as Building Bridges, making bullying a priority and a key focus.

The school council had previously attempted to conduct a similar workshop but found that training and the entry fee for participants was prohibitive for most other school community council members. But this year, after St. Dominic School Community Council received a grant from the Community Initiatives Fund (CIF) through the Community Grant Program, the bullying prevention workshop in Humboldt became both affordable and timely for other regional School Community Council members to take part.

“Many of those attending our (bullying prevention) workshop had first-hand experience with being bullied…or had suffered through the bullying of a family member.” says Shari Hinz, Building Bridges coordinator and past co-chair of St. Dominic School Community Council. “But all who attended held a deep-seated hunger to more fully understand the behavior, how it can perpetuate through generations, and how to dispel and manage its affects.”

“It is the aim of our School Community Council to foster a positive and nurturing environment, both in our school and into our community.” says Hinz.

Their extended community partners are intentional, as well. By working with other community groups and agencies like Safe Communities Humboldt and Area, the RCMP and PARTNERS Family Services, St. Dominic’s School Community Council strives to inform its entire community about bullying and harassment prevention and intervention. Another objective has been to inform participants of an upcoming youth facilitator training program about healthy and respectful interpersonal relationships.

“Once again the Community Initiatives Fund is investing in communities—through support of this (anti-bullying) training workshop and through the future information-sharing from each of those participat

ing in this workshop.” says Tracey Mann, executive director of the CIF. “Efforts like these substantially contribute to an enhanced quality of life in Saskatchewan communities.”

Humboldt is located about 50 minutes by vehicle east of Saskatoon. 

Posted in Archived
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