LDS Access: Our Very Own “Magic School Bus” Comes to LDS!

LDS Access: Our Very Own “Magic School Bus” Comes to LDS!

LDS Access: our very own “Magic School Bus”


Have you ever wanted to take a ride with Ms. Frizzle on the Magic School Bus? Well, LDS is thrilled to announce the next best thing: LDS Access, a clean-energy mini-bus! 

LDS Access is Canada’s first electric mobile classroom service, coming to a neighbourhood near you soon! LDS Access will offer outreach services—including our Research-informed Individualized Student Education (RISE) and Assistive Technology (AT)—to children and youth with learning differences.  

Did you know that besides providing learning support services in our East Vancouver and North Vancouver Learning Centres, LDS also works in community schools across the Lower Mainland? That’s right, our highly specialized instructors go right into schools to help students! When the pandemic first came to BC, families at these schools not only had to cope with school closures, but many children also lost access to the RISE programming they received from LDS.  

LDS consulted with our community to develop a solution to the critical challenge of getting educational support to the children who need it the most. After significant discussion, we developed LDS Access—an outreach program operating as a “classroom on wheels.”  

LDS worked with local companies, Green Power Motor Company and National Graphic Solutions Inc. (NGSI), to create a customized, clean-energy mini school bus to support vulnerable children and youth with learning and related disabilities—our very own Magic School Bus! 

Award-winning artist Carson Ting was inspired by the LDS Access initiative. As a child, Carson had struggled with a learning disability and received special education, and he was excited for the opportunity to give back to the community. Along with his design firm, Chairman Ting, Carson created a bright and colourful external mural that wraps around the bus, capturing the essence of LDS’s mission, vision, and values.  

LDS Access also incorporates ground-breaking social robotics programming developed in partnership with the University of Waterloo’s Social and Intelligent Robotics Research Laboratory (SIRRL), as well as state-of-the-art assistive technologies (AT) provided by 16 AT sponsors, including Microsoft Accessibility, Mind MeisterTexthelp, and others.  

With the help of our network of educational, community, technology, and financial partners, we came together to create this unique, innovative, technology-enhanced learning support service for students most in need. 

What is LDS Access?

LDS Access is a classroom on wheels that brings RISE programming and AT devices, software, and equipment on the road to visit children with learning differences where they live. 

LDS Access features: 

  • Operates in spaces such as school and Community Centre parking lots and other publicly accessible spaces in underserved neighbourhoods. 
  • Serves communities disproportionately affected by COVID-19, namely those with a high percentage of families who face intersectional socio-economic barriers, including financial, language, disability, or educational barriers. 
  • Adapts our service—which is already financially accessible—so that it can be physically accessible for those who cannot get to our Learning Centres and for whom remote learning is not appropriate. 
  • Provides customized solutions and assistive technologies (AT) that improve student learning outcomes. 
  • Ensures physical distancing and additional COVID-19 protective measures through the design elements of the mobile classroom.  

Want more access to LDS Access?

To learn more or to sign up for a tour of the bus, please visit our LDS Access webpage 

To learn about LDS’s other assistive technologies or our AT Studio—a space dedicated to the collaborative use of leading-edge AT to help our students with learning differences—please email our AT Manager at AT@ldsociety.ca. 

Assistive Technology: Lexilife’s Lexilight

Assistive Technology: Lexilife’s Lexilight

What is Assistive Technology? 

Assistive technology (AT) is any device, software, or equipment that is used to maintain or improve the functional capabilities of a person with a disability, including a learning difference. Technologies include hardware, or physical technologies that are kept on-site at our AT Studio, and software, or technology available via a computer that can potentially be used from home. To learn more about why and how LDS uses AT, head to our AT webpage.

What does the Lexilight do?

Lexilight is a reading-aid desk lamp that can significantly reduce symptoms of dyslexia when reading printed texts. Dyslexia is a common learning difference that affects the brain’s ability to process language. Those affected have normal intelligence but have challenges identifying speech sounds and relating letters and words.

Our in-person students affected by dyslexia can use the Lexilight in their lessons to improve their comprehension and comfort while reading. Innovative lighting technology combines both pulsated and modulated light to reduce the impact of dyslexia for many readers, allowing them to read faster, longer and with less eye strain. 

Lexilight features:

  • Adjustable dials on the rear of the lamp allow you to control the pulsation and modulation of the light that reduces the mirroring effect many children with dyslexia experience.  
  • Dual function Classic light and Lexilight modes. 
  • High quality LED lights for improved colour rendering and lightwave settings for better contrast

How can my child access the Lexilight?

We offer the Lexilight as part of our AT Studio, a space dedicated to leading-edge AT technology and the collaborative use of it to help our students with learning differences. To learn more about how your child can benefit, email our AT Manager at AT@ldsociety.ca [Link to email] 

    —Rie 

    _________________ 

    Rie Stadnichuk (she/her) is the Digital Communications Specialist at LDS. Currently studying Communications and Economics at Simon Fraser University, she hopes to use this opportunity as a way of exploring meaningful work in the field. She is passionate about social issues and creating environments of inclusivity and open dialogue. Rie graciously lives and works on the unceded territory of the Syilx people. 

    Assistive Technology: SMART Technologies’ SMART Board

    Assistive Technology: SMART Technologies’ SMART Board

    What is Assistive Technology? 

    Assistive technology (AT) is any device, software, or equipment that is used to maintain or improve the functional capabilities of a person with a disability, including a learning difference. Technologies include hardware, or physical technologies that are kept on-site at our AT Studio, and software, or technology available via a computer that can potentially be used from home. To learn more about why and how LDS uses AT, head to our AT webpage.

    What Does the SMART Board Do?  

    The centrepiece of our AT Studio, SMART Technologies’ SMART Board is an industry-leading interactive display whiteboard that offers tools for LDS instructors to take their teaching to the next level. SMART Board offers a ton of effective and easy-to-use tools to make learning fun and engaging for in-person and remote learning. Built-in software allows instructors to personalize their lessons and access materials with ease, making the delivery of lessons easier and more effective than ever before.  

    SMART Board Features: 

    • 20 points of touch – Allows multiple users and tools like eraser, marker, and timer, to be used simultaneously. 
    • Built-in Android – Instructors can quickly access One Drive, Google Drive, teaching materials, and personalized tools. 
    • SMART Ink – Draw, annotate, and write on any type of document or webpage. Also allows users to move/erase notes, save files, and convert notes to text. 
    • SMART Learning Suite – Enables students to learn remotely by logging into an online classroom with an instructor via the SMART Board screen. Additionally, a SMART Board screen can be shared via Zoom for remote lessons.  
    • Supports all major computer operating systems (Windows, ChromeOS, Mac).

    How to access the SMART Board?

    We offer the SMART Board as part of our AT Studio, a space dedicated to the collaborative use of leading-edge assistive technology to help our students with learning differences. To learn more about how your child can benefit, email our AT Manager at AT@ldsociety.ca

      —Rie 

      _________________ 

      Rie Stadnichuk (she/her) is the Digital Communications Specialist at LDS. Currently studying Communications and Economics at Simon Fraser University, she hopes to use this opportunity as a way of exploring meaningful work in the field. She is passionate about social issues and creating environments of inclusivity and open dialogue. Rie graciously lives and works on the unceded territory of the Syilx people. 

      Mission Maker: Stuti—practicum student experiences LDS

      Mission Maker: Stuti—practicum student experiences LDS

      In May 2021, Stuti, an education assistant (EA) student, joined LDS for her practicum. As an organization specializing in individualized remedial instruction for students with learning differences, this experience was slightly different from a public or private school-based practicum setting. We hoped that we could provide an eye-opening experience of the impact educational assistants and specialized instruction can have on students’ lives. 

      Stuti was a science teacher in her home country of India and has always enjoyed working with children. However, when she immigrated to Canada, her Indian qualifications did not allow her to work within the Canadian school system. In March 2020, due to COVID-19, she was laid off from her job, and it gave her a chance to reevaluate. She wanted to return to a career that brought her joy and fulfilment. 

      It wasn’t until Stuti began looking into education programs that she came across educational assistance and specialized instruction for students with learning differences. “Back in India, I saw very little concept of inclusive education,” says Stuti, but at LDS, Stuti saw how the theories and concepts she’d learned in her program apply in educational settings. “I wanted to be part of this difference.”  

      “I had ideas of what the common challenges of autism were, but I didn’t know in-depth, or what exactly the support systems can be and how lives can be improved,” says Stuti. “I am more excited now for being an EA.” 

      Stuti also kindly took the time to write about her experience in her own words:  

       

      What an experience! My EA Internship   

      Currently, I am pursuing Education Assistant Certification, for which I did my practicum with the Learning Disabilities Society in Vancouver, an experience that was invaluable in so many ways. I was given the opportunity to get involved even more than I ever imagined. My experience of working with LDS has been significant in terms of learning as well as building on my current skills. The LDS instructors are so professional, talented, creative, polished, and artistic. Every instructor gives their own magical touch to the lesson plan by introducing different strategies as well as diverse kinds of reinforcements, which make it more entertaining as well as engaging for the student. 

      The practicum experience was amazing. It challenged me in so many ways. I found myself participating, as well as applying my course knowledge in the field. I got the chance to learn in-depth about learning disabilities and how to address individual needs. Also, LDS gave me the opportunity to learn about new strategies which I had not heard of before, like the Orton-Gillingham approach and Phonological Awareness Screening Test (PAST). Working with students in different settings like online, one-to-one, or in groups has made me aware of the challenges that one may encounter and how executive functioning skills can help to overcome those challenges. Working with the LDS team has helped me add more tools to my toolkit, which in turn will help me successfully assist individuals with diverse needs. I feel grateful to the entire team for sharing their strategies with me and giving me an opportunity to practice them with students.    

      —Stuti & Rie 

      _________________ 

      Stuti (she/her) joins LDS as an Education Assistant practicum student. Currently studying Disability and Community Studies at Douglas College, she hopes to use this chance to experience working with children with diverse abilities firsthand and gain a deeper understanding of what is it means to have a disability. She has two years of experience working as a science teacher in India. Stuti is passionate about education and believes everybody deserves an equal opportunity to receive it. 

      Rie Stadnichuk (she/her) is the Digital Communications Specialist at LDS. Currently studying Communications and Economics at Simon Fraser University, she hopes to use this opportunity as a way of exploring meaningful work in the field. She is passionate about social issues and creating environments of inclusivity and open dialogue. Rie graciously lives and works on the unceded territory of the Syilx people. 

      Our Assistive Technology Studio—a supportive space to enhance the learning experience for our students

      Our Assistive Technology Studio—a supportive space to enhance the learning experience for our students

      LDS is committed to providing exceptional learning support and remedial instruction for our students with learning differences. Whether that’s by providing accessible education through internal and external bursary funding or by investing in innovative tools for delivering instruction, we continually search for ways to engage students. This has led to the creation of programs and opportunities unique to LDS.  

      In 2020, we looked to innovate and find new tools to help our students overcome educational barriers as in-person instruction was restricted by public health orders, school closures, family comfort levels, and the periodic need to self-isolate. From this need, we developed RISE at Home and began seeking new technologies that could help students. Thus, the seed was planted for a supportive space centred on enhancing the learning experience for our students—an idea that grew into our Assistive Technology (AT) Studio.    

      What is Assistive Technology?

      Assistive technologies are software and hardware tools designed to maintain or improve the functional capabilities of a person with a disability, including a learning difference. Examples of tools include specialized reading lights to help with dyslexia (Lexilight) and writing software to help students with their written output (Grammarly). Our AT Studio now has 16 different AT tools for our students to use.  

      How does Assistive Technology help children with learning differences?

      LDS families have noticed a difference in their children’s learning experiences, outcomes, and confidence. We can provide these tools in-person and at home, expanding the scope of accessibility. Assistive technology can empower students, provide greater independence, stimulate engagement, improve learning outcomes, and enhance emotional and social development.  

      “My son has shown an interest in writing well in his school assignments and often has me help him edit an assignment before it is due. He has been very open to using Grammarly as an integrated tool in Microsoft Word and often uses it as he is writing and as a final check before he hands it in. Between the help he gets from me and the extra support of Grammarly, he is able to hand in well-polished writing that he feels a deep sense of pride in. For a child with a written expression disorder, it is really fantastic to see him use the tools available to him and flourish!” —LDS parent  

      How can I learn more about Assistive Technology?

      To further our commitment to sharing the successes, programming, and tools available for students and creating awareness and accessibility, we are starting a new blog series that will feature one of our assistive technology tools each month. If you know a child with a learning difference who could benefit from these tools, please reach out to at@ldsociety.ca to learn more. 

       

      —Rie 

      _________________ 

      Rie Stadnichuk (she/her) is the Digital Communications Specialist at LDS. Currently studying Communications and Economics at Simon Fraser University, she hopes to use this opportunity as a way of exploring meaningful work in the field. She is passionate about social issues and creating environments of inclusivity and open dialogue. Rie graciously lives and works on the unceded territory of the Syilx people. 

      Mission Makers: Anotidaishe—finding the gem inside each student

      Mission Makers: Anotidaishe—finding the gem inside each student

      Remedial Instructor Anotidaishe has always been moved by the Winston Churchill quote, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” 

      As an instructor for LDS’ RISE at Home Program, Anotidaishe believes she is making a life through her role and, in doing so, she gets to meet new people, work with children, and watch them grow. These experiences are so valuable for her, and she is grateful to LDS, the parents, and the children for the opportunities she’s had. 

      Although Anotidaishe never imagined herself as a teacher, “it’s been a series of small moments that have led me to realize ‘oh this is where I am supposed to be, and this is what I am meant to do.’” It was during a conversation with her grandmotherwho had also been a teacher to young childrenthat Anotidaishe realized that she is very similar to her grandmother, and this is probably where her love for teaching stems from. 

      “I can’t pinpoint when in my life, but at some point, I realized I love seeing people grow and reach their full potential. So, I wanted to do something that helped people do that, and I guess being a teacher is one of those jobs.” 

      Anotidaishe’s first experience with learning differences was in university. She has a Bachelor of Science degree from Simon Fraser University with a minor in Learning and Developmental Disabilities. During her undergrad, Anotidaishe volunteered and worked with children running summer day camps. 

      Working with children brings Anotidaishe so much joy, especially seeing their positivity and endless potential. A child’s imagination and their ability to grow and adapt to challenges gives her a sense of fulfillment in her job. “Kids have the most amazing imagination. At LDS, sometimes I ask [my students] to write stories. And the stories the students come up withI just wonder ‘where did you get this amazing idea from?’” 

      For Anotidaishe, the biggest challenge of her job is helping her students overcome the mental barriers and self-doubt a student may have due to what they might have experienced, such as being told they are a “bad student” or receiving low grades. “Just give it a try,” she says to her students, “just one small step…and—before you know it—you’ve gone past what you thought you could do.” 

      When describing her teaching style, Anotidaishe says the most important thing to her is to create a positive environment where students can believe in themselves to overcome academic challenges. She does this by building a rapport with her students to ensure that a student feels comfortable making mistakes, and that they understand that making mistakes is all part of the learning process. 

      “I just want them to know that you’re in a safe zone, and you can make as many mistakes as you have to, and it’s okay,” says Anotidaishe. “I want students to see that they’re valued and that they are able to do the work.” 

      The greatest accomplishment is when she sees her students grow their self-confidence and overcome the challenges they face. Anotidaishe tells her students, “Who you are is not what society says you are, but really the gem that is what’s inside of you.” 

      —Rie 

      _________________ 

      Rie Stadnichuk (she/her) is the Digital Communications Specialist at LDS. Currently studying Communications and Economics at Simon Fraser University, she hopes to use this opportunity as a way of exploring meaningful work in the field. She is passionate about social issues and creating environments of inclusivity and open dialogue. Rie graciously lives and works on the unceded territory of the Syilx people. 

      Mission Makers: Mel—a family struggle and a love for theatre spark an interest in Speech Sciences

      Mission Makers: Mel—a family struggle and a love for theatre spark an interest in Speech Sciences

      May is Speech and Hearing Month, so we thought it was the perfect time to check in with Melissa “Mel” Henderson. You might recall Mel as the person who recruited Alice to LDS, as mentioned in Alice’s Mission Makers story, or you may have met her during an intake, instruction, or summer break camp. As the Learning Support Manager, Mel works with our instructors to design, implement, and monitor engaging learning programs tailored to each individual student. Most recently, Mel managed and instructed our PEERS social skill program 

      Mel’s background is in one-to-one remedial instruction, and she has a bachelor’s degree in Speech Sciences. Mel’s future aspirations include a career as an SLP (speech language pathologist). “Working here [at LDS] has been a delve into the educational side, and so I feel that’s the track I’m leaning towards, but it’s all really cool.”  

      “An SLP is an expert on your whole vocal tract, from your neck to nose!” explains Mel. Although a career as an SLP is most often thought of as focusing on speech therapy, there are various avenues of work. Some more clinical and anatomical, such as helping with swallowing or monitoring cognitive functions during brain surgery. Others focus on speech and social learning, which relates to the work LDS does for children with learning differences.  

      For example, Mel and Lara, an SLP who works with us, ran a social-emotional learning program during RISE Summer Camps called Worry Warriors. This afterlunch time slot was used to teach students about their emotions and coping mechanisms to be resilient.  

      Mental health is often affected by language-based learning differences as it can be challenging to process and express feelings. The rise of anxiety and depression rates among adolescents with learning differences further emphasizes for Mel the importance of SLP and working with youth. Her goal is to equip students with the confidence to believe in themselves to face any challenge.   

      This goal was influenced by Mel’s own experiences growing up. Mel’s interest in SLP is rooted in her childhood passions for musical theatre and voice. SLP combines speech, language, and communication with technical aspects such as acoustics, psychology, and brain development, which together create a field of study that continues to keep Mel intrigued. However, Mel’s passion for working with children, especially those with learning differences, can be attributed to her childhood experience growing up with her sister who has a learning difference.  

      “Seeing her struggle in school and how that affected her confidence in every part of her life growing up and what she sees for her future and knowing that I could work with people who are in the same situation that my family was in is really important to me.” 

      Mel’s parents faced their own challenges in navigating her sister’s diagnosis, the school system, and finding additional resources for her sister, as options are not always obvious. Additionally, Mel notes how difficult it was for her mother, the primary caretaker, to advocate for her sister as she spoke English as a second language. Language barriers and financial barriers are all too real for many of our families we serve.  

      “I just want to be able to make a difference and help people and provide resources that maybe they wouldn’t otherwise have access to because of finances or they’re not sure how. It’s not an easy process to navigate the school system with a learning difference, and so I want to be somebody who can offer that for families.” 

       

      —Rie 

      _________________ 

      Rie Stadnichuk (she/her) is the Digital Communications Specialist at LDS. Currently studying Communications and Economics at Simon Fraser University, she hopes to use this opportunity as a way of exploring meaningful work in the field. She is passionate about social issues and creating environments of inclusivity and open dialogue. Rie graciously lives and works on the unceded territory of the Syilx people. 

      Spring Break Camp Review—Focusing on Mental Health with Stigma-Free Society

      Spring Break Camp Review—Focusing on Mental Health with Stigma-Free Society

      May 7th is National Child and Youth Mental Health Day across Canada. This year, LDS has taken strides to include mental health wellness and advocacy into our day camp programming.  

      In March, LDS hosted two weeks of RISE Spring Break Camps with the support of the Government of Canada and the United Way Lower Mainland. LDS also excitedly announced our collaboration with Stigma-Free Society—a charity that aims to reduce stigma of all kinds, includinmental health and learning differencesWith their help and the fearless leadership of our Camp Coordinator Lindsay Underdown, LDS brought small-group, specialized programming with a focus on mental health and wellness to children with learning differences. Lindsay took the time to recap her experience and share the exciting events that occurred. 

      Lindsay worked with LDS as an instructor at our first-ever RISE Summer Break Camp last year and built upon what shed learned to run the Spring Break Camps. For example, she was able to personally screen students to understand their diagnoses and areas they were actively working to address and accommodate them accordingly. Students were then grouped based on their social skills and learning outcome levels across our North Vancouver and East Vancouver locations. 

      The days at Spring Break Camps were split between writing activities in the morning and mental health awareness and crafts in the afternoon. For example, students worked on their writing through poetry by creating haikus about positive self-talk. Lindsay removed the pressure of written output by allowing for flexibility of expression, such as drawing or having an instructor scribe for them, but most students still chose to write.   

      Afternoons included mental wellness activities such as yoga, circles of control, and breathing and mindfulness exercises, as well as hands-on crafts. Students made fidget toys, Worry Pets, crafted toys to be their companions throughout the week, and painted rocks. The crafts gave students the opportunity to explore fun hobbies and activities that they enjoy, which can also reduce stress. 

      Each week, presentations from the Stigma-Free Society taught students about mental health and featured a guest speaker with dyslexia and anxiety. During a presentation, one of the students with dyslexia burst out, “that’s what I have!” Lindsay says, “It’s amazing how much representation matters to the kids, probably more than they realize in the moment.” 

      Lindsay also has dyslexia. She shares this with her students to normalize learning differences and to make them more comfortable with their own. Throughout camps, Lindsay was a positive role model by demonstrating how to handle situations where her dyslexia arose, such as casually asking instructors for spelling and moving along, not allowing it to stop her from being the best leader she can be.   

      “Hopefully, they can see that it’s not a big secret or something stigmatized” in her classroom, she says. As the Spring Break Camp Coordinator, she was able to provide a positive representation of an adult with a learning difference for the students. Lindsay is passionate about being an advocate with lived experience to destigmatize and create conversations around mental health and learning differences. 

      It’s also important for these students to be around peers with learning differences. In North Vancouver, one of the students had a recent diagnosis and was still struggling with identifying with the term. Another student at camp had a similar diagnosis but was very comfortable with their neurodivergence. Lindsay saw how by being around a peer who is confident with their learning difference, the student was able to themselves grow into themselves and started responding positively to their environment. 

      “Sometimes, to reduce stigma, we just have to normalize it. In some sense, education is a great way to reduce stigma around many topics, like mental health. But for these kids with learning differences … they need representation and normalization.” 

      Lindsay believes it’s important to start introducing and integrating ideas around mental health from a young age. In these formative years, students begin to form social bonds, beliefs, and doubts about themselves. Equipping students with techniques to deal with stress and emotions to maintain their mental health is vital to navigating their teens, which can be mentally and emotionally challenging. Children with learning differences are also at higher risk for mental health challenges, so by teaching social-emotional and well-being skills now, we can have a lasting impact on these students’ lives. 

      LDS has opened applications for our Summer Camps, which will feature similar mental health awareness and wellness components. If you would like to apply, visit our page or read more about the program here. 

      —Rie 

      _________________ 

      Rie Stadnichuk (she/her) is the Digital Communications Specialist at LDS. Currently studying Communications and Economics at Simon Fraser University, she hopes to use this opportunity as a way of exploring meaningful work in the field. She is passionate about social issues and creating environments of inclusivity and open dialogue. Rie graciously lives and works on the unceded territory of the Syilx people. 

      Mission Makers: June—providing a transformative learning experience for students

      Mission Makers: June—providing a transformative learning experience for students

      June, an LDS remedial instructor, is a bubbly and energetic woman. Throughout her interview, June explained her adventurous and exciting life journey with such joy. From the way she fondly discussed the students she has worked with to how she described the neighbourhood near the LDS office as a “little Italian quarter with mountains in the background that reminds her of her time in Italy, June radiates happiness and laughter. 

      June started her teaching career at an elementary school, but soon after she got the travel bug. She received her Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certificate and began teaching across Europe. Eventually, she found her way back to England and was working on-call and volunteering in her spare time. This was when June was introduced to a young student with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD), which prompted her interest in dyslexia and learning differences. June went back to university to train as a Specialist Dyslexia Teacher and soon started working as a one-to-one remedial teacher. 

      The experience of one particular student truly impacted June. The student came to June without the ability to read due to his dyslexia. “I worked with him for two years, and I thought ‘this is really quite hard. He wasn’t making much progress, and then suddenly, it all fell into place: he was reading, received accommodations for his exams, and eventually went to university. “He was flying! June exclaims with a laugh. He was June’s first student and case study during university, and she grew very fond of him. June is proud to say he received an art degree and is now a graphic designer. 

      June has her own experiences with challenges, similar to students with dyslexia. She struggles with directions, sequencing, and working memory. “We all have our good days and bad days,” says June, “but it helps with my understanding of the students.” 

      When asked what her favourite part about working with LDS is, June rattles off a lengthy list without a second thought. “I love that it’s student-centred, the contact with staff, and that LDS is so accommodating. I love that I can mix and match and work in schools, online, and in the Learning Centre. And the kids!” June exclaims. “Everything is just ideal.” 

      “I love my students, June says. “I work with so many talented students, every single one of them. So creative, athletic, they all do something and it’s amazing. But they just don’t know it.” June includes positive self-talk, relevant subject matter, and activities that interest students iher lessons with them. She emphasizes her students’ strengths and builds on their talents and interests to encourage them.  

      The most challenging part of her job, June says, is the lesson planning. “You need to plan loads and loads of stuff because you never know just how the lessons are going to go,” she says with a laugh. June is very mindful of the multi-sensory materials she prepares for students and includes activities for brain breaks. 

      “I hope I can give them a transformative learning experience, and they can use the tools and strategies I teach them in their lives outside of LDS, and that can make a difference in their confidence and self-autonomy.” 

       

      —Rie 

      _________________ 

      Rie Stadnichuk (she/her) is the Digital Communications Specialist at LDS. Currently studying Communications and Economics at Simon Fraser University, she hopes to use this opportunity as a way of exploring meaningful work in the field. She is passionate about social issues and creating environments of inclusivity and open dialogue. Rie graciously lives and works on the unceded territory of the Syilx people. 

      LDS Sends Love and Strength to North Vancouver

      Our sincerest condolences to the North Vancouver and Lynn Valley communities affected by this past weekend’s tragedy 

      As a charity that strives to provide a safe space to learn for our students, we are deeply saddened that these crimes occurred in a gathering place for community and education.  

      We hope we can soon reopen to the families we serve in this area and show that together we are resilient. In the meantime, LDS will be moving our North Vancouver sessions online this week out of respect for those involved and to ensure that our families are not unnecessarily affected by being in the area. 

      Our thoughts are with the victims—may they recover quickly. And to North Vancouver’s libraries, businesses, and residents, our love and strength goes out to everyone impacted.  

      Please know that the safety and health of our families are of the utmost importance to LDS. We encourage our families to reach out if they require further accommodations during these challenging times.  

      With deepest sympathy on behalf of the LDS team,

      Rachel S. Forbes, Executive Director

       

      Early RISErs for 3-5 yr olds: applications open now!Learn more!