The EvenStart program receives approximately 200 children each day into its various program levels. As school buses unload, and upon registry at the front entrance, teachers commence their stewardship of each child.
The arrival and dispersal of children to their respective classrooms and activity centres requires a central area for this teacher-child interface. So too, this is the main entrance for visitors to the Centre. The main entrance represents the flagship nature of this state-of-the-art building. Prominent in the entryway will be a Donor Wall acknowledging the generosity of all of EvenStart’s supporters. The entrance itself will carry the name of a special donor in recognition of their gift.
In keeping with the Reggio philosophy, children enter the Piazza area. This is a warm and receptive space that allows for general convening, as well as a myriad of child-centred activities within its open space and green garden motif. The Piazza represents the heart or centre of the building from which all activities radiate and converge.
Building Main Level: Instruction & Practice
This main building level is the centre of comprehensive instructional efforts. Children are provided educational instruction by specialized teachers and practitioners. It houses the kitchen and the dining areas, and allows for socialization and fellowship amongst students and staff alike.
Building Upper Level: Programming & Consultation
This upper building level is the centre of the programming and consultative processes. The professional teams of psychologists, therapists, special needs teachers, support administrators, as well as visiting early childhood consultants are provided areas for collegial meeting, child case management, record keeping, and teacher preparation.
Building Ground Level: Therapy & Plan
This ground level is the locale for therapy intervention, varied play routines, and rehabilitation efforts. Children are provided supervised interface with specialized occupational therapy equipment, speech and language strategies, and therapeutic modalities to overturn developmental delays.
Children who are enrolled in the EvenStart program often come hungry to school each day. Not having the benefits of a proper meal or supplemental nutrition, these children must first be fed in order for educational and therapy interventions to be successful. Each child is fed several times during their daily session, and receives vitamin supplementation. Full meals are prepared by an on-site cook in accordance with the Canada Food Guide. Help with meal preparation is also part of the child’s daily activity in accordance with good early childhood practice. As a full-circle approach to family support, this Commercial Kitchen will be used to not only serve children’s learning needs, but to provide parent groups with hands-on instruction in food preparation, nutrition, and the means to prepare take-home meals to support general family nutrition.
“B” BUILDING ELEMENTS – $150,000
Winter Garden (Indoor Playground)
Given Calgary's weather, the vital aspect of play in children’s lives and its necessary incorporation into any development program requires an indoor solution. An indoor Winter Garden will provide children year-round access to climbing apparatus, slides, water and sand centres, and free room for running, jumping, and playing together.
EvenStart children have little opportunity for exercise and physical routine. The indoor Gymnasium will couple as both a full physical education centre, as well as be convertible to an auditorium for schoolbased assemblies, events, and presentations.
Central Dining Hall
The centralized nature of the Dining Hall will provide all children and staff the opportunity to share in the celebration of eating and socializing together as a family in their daily environment. Children learn appropriate interaction during meal times in this designated dining area. The Dining Hall becomes a central focal point for the learning of socialization skills and fellowship.
Motor Skills Rehabilitation Centre
A specialized motor skills and play area will allow therapists to utilize larger equipment and gross motor techniques to assist children with the development of their motor skills to age-relevant levels.
Transportation Services Annex
As many of EvenStart’s children come from impoverished families, vehicle ownership is rare. EvenStart sends its school buses and vans throughout Calgary communities each day, to pickup and drop off children to their site-based programs. This new centre will allow for on-site bus traffic (child drop off) as well as bus turnaround without impacting local community streets or roadways for parking or vehicular congestion. This important Transportation Services Annex will provide EvenStart the facility to house and maintain school vehicles to keep them certified and in safe running order.
“C” BUILDING ELEMENTS – $100,000
Specialized Practice Classrooms
Advanced classrooms address the needs of children ages three, four, and five. Each classroom is designed for children. Each classroom includes a tiered stage for dress-up and song, a story-time centre, computer teaching-learning supports, multiple ateliers (craft and activity centres), ample display space for children’s work, a space for unhindered water play, areas for quiet times and naps, storage for personal articles and clothing, and child-sized commodes and wash-up stands. Teachers too will enjoy the benefit of stations allowing for curriculum planning, automated recording keeping, and computer intra-networking.
Outdoor Playground & Discovery Space
A special outdoor play area will be designated for the Centre: An Outdoor Playground & Discovery Space will allow for every outdoor activity from nature explores in specially designed pathways, to bicycle tracks and riding rings.
“D” BUILDING ELEMENTS – $50,000
Therapy & Sensory Rooms
Children enrolled in the EvenStart program bring a variety of developmental needs. Therapy interventions can involve speech and language therapy, occupational/gross and fine motor therapy, PLAY Therapy®, and psychological services. Each attending therapist will have professionally supportive rooms for their practice. A unique sensory room will be required to help many children with sensory regulation and/or behavioural challenges. Many children require tactile and auditory techniques to soothe and relax. The Sensory Room will offer materials, objects, and an atmosphere that enhances a sense of tranquility and security. For children whose lives involve stress, chaos, and the unpredictability of their circumstances, interim time in the Sensory Room will allow them to subsequently enter a classroom and positively engage with teachers and peers.
“E” BUILDING ELEMENTS – $25,000
Programming, Consultation, & Board Rooms
The greatest challenge to a school or centre is its need for record-keeping and adherence to stringent codes and licensing agreements. This building allows for the proper allocation of space for records storage, equipment, and personnel, and the vital human services that support them. This building also accommodates the professional team’s need for designated collegial and visitor meeting and consultation areas.
“F” BUILDING ELEMENTS – $10,000
Auxiliary Support Rooms
This newest facility will enjoy standards of green design. From recycling stations to superior sustainable landscaping treatments, from building maintenance advances to low-impact usage, this Centre will represent the very best in terms of its footprint and community-conscious impact. It will be heated, cooled, and operated to state-of-the art standards in environmentally conscious approaches to building operations and maintenance.