Ally Scott, BA, RECE, Project Coordinator of Strive

 

In light of reaching the end of our 2016-2018 Strategic Plan (don’t worry – another one is on its way!) I wanted to highlight some of the key deliverables we have achieved and ensure everyone is aware of the various ways to engage with us and learn more.

*links are embeded in the pictures throughout the articleWe know how essential effective communication is in our profession. With an ever-changing, progressive field such as ours, it is of the upmost importance that we stay in the know. In 2016, Strive outlined communication as one of the six strategic directions in our plan. There have been many contributing factors that have enhanced our communication over the last three years. The first major change sparked from our re-branding. With the help of AdHome Creative, we have truly embodied our new identity as Strive. AdHome helped us develop our website, online learning platform, and brand identity. This ensures we have clear visuals on our social media outlets as well as in our Community of Professional Learning Calendar.

As we have done since we were Quality Child Care Coordinating Committee (QCCCC), we continue to coordinate and develop our Community of Professional Learning Calendar three times a year – January to April, May to August, and September to December. These calendars have essential information about Strive, the importance of professional learning, and, of course, all of our great opportunities. If you haven’t been able to get your hands on one of the stunning print copies, be sure to pop into Childreach in January, May and/or September to grab one. We have them available at all of our meetings, while supplies last, and we also try to disperse copies to Family Centres when we can.

 

Social media has been another strong avenue for communication for Strive. We have handles running on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIN, and Youtube. We love to post pictures from all of our incredible professional learning opportunities, promote upcoming events, and share information from all of our wonderful community partners.

Our website has been another major area that we have grown in leaps and bounds. We are able to host all of the registration directly on our Events pages thanks to Universe. Our hope for a one-stop-shop for all your professional learning needs has come to life. We have recently activated our Strive Online learning platform. Professionals working in the early years in London, Middlesex, and Elgin now have access to a free membership which houses forums, videos, and professional learning documents. We are continuing to grow our library so be sure to check in often.

It is also important to note that we have a monthly e-blast that goes out at the beginning of each month. This e-blast highlights all of the great opportunities that will take place that month. It has links to other additional resources, meeting information as well as upcoming networking sessions.

Last but definitely not least, communication is a key element of our monthly Strive Meetings. These are community meetings held on the second Friday of every month at Childreach. Here, we provide updates on what’s happening at Strive, within the community, as well as provincially. The best parts of these meetings are the Action Conversations. This is when we pose a question or thought to the group and allow professionals to dissect it together in a Community of Practice. You can feel and hear the energy in the room when these conversations begin. This allows us to capture the voice of the community to make sure we are being responsive and progressive.

I think it is safe to say we have worked hard to achieve our communication strategic direction. “One of the desires of Strive is to strengthen the level of communication so that all Child Care and Early Years Professionals can be reached and have an awareness for future learning opportunities throughout London-Middlesex and surrounding counties.” (Strategic Plan). However, we know there are professionals that still don’t know about us. This is where we rely on word of mouth and organizations to ensure their teams are well aware of all that Strive can offer.

 

So, this holiday season, in the essence of giving, give a colleague the gift of Strive. Share us on whatever social media you partake in. Forward the December e-blast. Print this article and hand it out. Do whatever you can to get the word out there. We are here for you and we can’t do it without you. Ultimately, we know that we can support educators to provide the best possible care for children and families but it all starts with you.