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New Kids First co-ordinator thrilled to be in Fort Macleod

LAWRENCE GLEASON, GAZETTE CONTRIBUTOR

Cynthia Chisholm is the new co-ordinator of Fort Macleod Kids First Family Centre.

Cynthia Chisholm is the new Fort Macleod Kids First Family Centre co-ordinator.
Chisholm has a long background in early childhood education, graduating in the subject from East Kootenay Community College in 1981.
Since then Chisholm has worked as a day care home supervisor in Lethbridge, moving from there to Milk River where she was the Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) co-ordinator while raising her family.
Chisholm grew up in Marysville, B.C., a small, pleasant community on the St. Mary’s River near Kimberley. After she graduated from college Chisholm took a chance and moved to Lethbridge.
“It was a great move,” Chisholm said. “Lethbridge was blooming at that time. There were a lot of day cares.”
Chisholm then enhanced her education at Lethbridge College, graduating with a certificate in Early Childhood Special Education.
Chisholm and her husband then moved to Milk River, when he was employed with ATCO. She became the Family and Community Support Services co-ordinator, a position she held during their 16 years in Milk River.
“It was wonderful for the kids,” Chisholm said. “They could cross the road without being too worried. They could walk everywhere in town. They could ride their bikes everywhere. It was a great move. We had fabulous schools. It was a really good place.”
Chisholm added, “The great thing about FCSS was the amount of training we received.”
What was also important to Chisholm was FCSS had great autonomy to develop its own programs.
“The parenting program was new when I started. Because it was so new we actually got to develop the program. It was a project we turned into a program.”
Through that program Chisholm taught courses and did one-on-one consultations with parents.
Fort Macleod beckoned when Trish Hoskin resigned as co-ordinator of Kids First to begin work at The Station at Claresholm.
Chisholm was named the new Kids First co-ordinator, and started on Dec. 17.
“Kids First is so dynamic and far-reaching,” Chisholm said. “The programs we offer are varied and meet so many needs in the community it just dazzles my mind. Fort Macleod is really lucky to have Kids First. There are a ton of programs we do here.”
Kids First began as a breakfast program and after 17 years in the community offers 39 programs, and employs 5.5 full-time equivalent staff.
Kids First also has a collaborative relationship with the Parent Preschool Program, a program for parents and children, at Lethbridge College. The Fort Macleod Preschool also utilizes the playroom and programs at Kids First.
The Kids First office is attached to W. A. Day school at 1905 Fifth Ave. in Fort Macleod.
“It is a beautiful office,” Chisholm said. “We are thrilled to be here.”
The Kids First telephone number is 587-787-1071 and their Web site is at www.fmkidsfirst.com.

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