Under the division of the Wellness Centre for the Coasters Association, Little Coasters in Muddy Boots’s mission is to deliver Early Childhood Development (ECD) programming for children (0-5) and their families through a team of Animators across the Lower North Shore of Quebec.
In 2013, the Coasters Association conducted a survey responded to by LNS preschools and daycares focusing on early childhood development needs. The survey results found that children in our region and early years could benefit significantly from early childhood animation concentrating on emotional and social skills. With communities across the LNS either having or not having a daycare or preschool, the Coasters Association applied for funding through Avenir d’enfants, which awarded us the budget for the Show Me The Way Program. In 2014, the Coasters Association was proud to introduce Show Me The Way Programming in several LNS communities. Today, Avenir d’enfants is no longer in place; however, with the support of our MRC and their recognition of the importance of Early Childhood Development, we can continue Show Me The Way programming.
In 1993, the Government of Canada launched PACE across Canada and was coordinated by the CISSS. In 2017, when the CISSS had reorganized its portfolios and community programs, the Coasters Association was approached to take on and sustain the PACE program funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada.
In 2018, to further enhance and bring more value to our early childhood programming, we were able to qualify and receive funding through the CHSSN for Bright Beginnings and Healthy Early Years programs. These programs have allowed our ECD team to participate in regular training, reach out to vulnerable families, research and identify barriers to access critical services and coordinate special events.
CHSSN: From the Community Health and Social Services Network, we are privileged to be supported by Bright Beginnings and Healthy Early Years. This funding helps fund training opportunities, research and development for vital regional needs.
MRC du Golfe du Sainte-Laurent: Funding from the MRC has been instrumental in funding our Show Me The Way Animator team.
Public Health Agency of Canada: Funding from PHAC funds our PACE Animator team.
The Wellness Center’s Early Childhood Development provides an Early Childhood Animation Program, which includes:
Through CNA, our PACE Animators and ECD Manager are currently receiving training to facilitate more outdoor animation sessions to enable learning in an outdoor classroom setting. Program rollout is coming soon.
The NNC Nutrition Education Initiatives objectives aim to:
In 2011, the Government of Canada launched Nutrition North Canada – a food retail subsidy program for isolated northern communities. Nutrition North replaced the former Food Mail Program, an air transportation subsidy program that was in place for more than 50 years.
The Government of Canada recognizes that food security (having access to nutritious, affordable food) and having the knowledge and skills for healthy eating are essential to good health. Several factors challenge food security in isolated and other northern communities. These include limited infrastructure, vast distances, extreme climate, higher cost for energy and labour, the lack of year-round surface access (road, railway or marine) and reliance on air transport for perishable products – all of which drive up the cost of food.
The NNC Nutrition Education Initiatives are guided by these five (5) principles:
Nutrition North Canada (NNC) is a federal government program consisting of two parts: Food retail subsidy and Nutrition Education Initiatives. Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC) funded the retail food subsidy. The Nutrition Education Initiatives are funded by Indigenous Services Canada (ISC), for Inuit Communities and First Nations Communities on reserves and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), for isolated Northern communities off-reserve.
Senior Services are in place to help promote the welfare and social wellbeing of seniors over 65 and those with a loss of autonomy within the communities of the Lower North Shore and to meet the growing needs of an aging population. Through the distribution of information and animation of activities, the Senior Services department positively impacts and influences the region’s most vulnerable groups. With a staff of 11 personnel, the Coasters Association’s senior services objective is to offer a variety of accessible programs and benefits that may help to improve their quality of life while striving to retain their cultural importance and recognizing their value in the community.
In September 2009, a project entitled “Increasing Access to Health and Social Services for Seniors on the Lower North Shore” was received in partnership with the Community Health and Social Services Network, funded by Health Canada through the Health Promotions Program. Funding for $50,000.00 was approved for an initial phase with subsequent funding, pending approval, for $27,500.00 over the following three years. Many accomplishments were realized in the initial stage from November 2009 to March 31, 2010. Primarily, a Project Manager was hired. An Advisory Committee was formed with representatives from the following organizations: Coasters Association, Lower North Shore Coalition for Health, Local Table for Seniors, CSSSCN and the Council of Mayors.
Information sessions took place in all five (5) Municipalities to validate the information compiled, to share information on the initiative and receive feedback from the communities. The Advisory Committee then chose a site for the pilot site day center using the data collected and presented. The primary location for the pilot site day center chosen was La Tabatiere, with outreach to Mutton Bay.
Following the completion of a need’s assessment and community profiles by the Coasters Association and Centre de Santé et de Service Sociaux de la Basse-Côte-Nord (CSSSBCN), the advisory committee analyzed the information compiled and chose La Tabatiere with outreach services to Mutton Bay as the location of the first day center on the Lower North Shore. The center opened its doors on July 14, 2011.
From 2011 to the present, ten (10) sites have been established; Kegaska, La Romaine, Chevery, Harrington, Tete a la Baleine, La Tabatiere, St. Augustine, Old Fort Bay, St. Paul’s River and Blanc Sablon, and its doors have been sporadically open.
Each Senior day center on the Lower North Shore operates according to the needs (activities carried out) of their respective communities and with the support of the senior clubs in the community. The common goal is to improve the social, mental, and physical well-being of the seniors associated with each center. They provide a place for seniors to gather and be active within their communities. The Animator coordinating each center acts as a facilitator for events and activities, distributes essential information such as health promotion, and bridges the gap to access seniors to programs that will improve their quality of life.
Day Centres Established to Date
each uniquely operated according to the needs of their respective communities. The common goal is to improve the social, mental and physical wellbeing of the seniors associated with each center. They provide a place for seniors to gather and be active within their communities. The Animator coordinating each center acts as a facilitator for events, distributes essential information such as health promotion and bridges the gap to access seniors to programs that will improve their quality of life.
reduce seniors’ loneliness and social isolation. Friendly Visiting is a one-on-one, personal visit by the animator and is for seniors who find it difficult to leave their homes. Companionship is the key – depending on their interests, the pair may chat, play a game, do a craft, or discuss the news.
entitled “Sharing the table nourishes the body, mind & spirit.” The project aimed to permit seniors, persons with a loss of autonomy, and other Lower North Shore community members to participate in community kitchens. Given that the communities are isolated, access to nutritional food is limited, and the cost is 50% more than communities situated in an urban environment.
The community kitchen is held at some day centers, meals are prepared and taken home to share with the participants’ families, and some are delivered to housebound/vulnerable seniors.
The implementation of this service permits people to participate in community kitchen cooking activities, receive education around nutrition and healthy lifestyle habits, and break isolation among participants, specifically the more vulnerable in the community.
a “Books on Wheels” program. Through this project, books, large print books and puzzles were purchased. In 2015 the “Books on Wheels” program was implemented at the Day Centers; books are delivered to housebound and isolated seniors by the Animators and are exchanged as needed.
It offers them time to get together to share skills and visit. They also make crafts together to sell to keep up with the supplies and needs at their center.
on various topics. Since the pandemic, the session is done through Zoom. The Coasters Association promotes and helps organize the sessions on the Lower North Shore. If anyone is interested in participating, they will need to contact the Coasters Association’s office.
on their services with the public. Its mission is to help citizens understand their legal rights and responsibilities, and it is a leader in the movement to improve access to justice in Quebec. The core of their mission is explaining the law to Quebecers in everyday language. Therefore, the Coasters Association shares this information and publicized information session in the community.
under the age-friendly Quebec program (QADA) entitled “Senior Abuse is Everyone’s Business.” The project’s goal is to encourage the community/region to become involved in raising awareness on the mistreatment of seniors and those with a loss of autonomy. This will be carried out by increasing awareness of senior abuse in partnership with responsible organizations, activities at senior day centers, developing a safety plan and raising awareness through intergeneration activities.