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St.Amant acknowledges that we are on Treaty 1 Territory, the traditional gathering place of the Anishinaabe, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota and Dene people and the traditional homeland of the Métis people. Read More

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  • Making the Ride a Little Easier for Everyone

  • May 20, 2022
  • Naomi and Junsay heard the word autism for the first time when their son Isaiah was diagnosed at age three.

    “We had no idea what that meant for him, for our family, we didn’t know how to help him,” said Naomi.

    This is when the Mateo family was first introduced to St.Amant and the Autism Program – something that changed their lives forever.

    “I wish I would have taken a before and after video of Isaiah, he’s five now.  The changes are amazing, and not only for him, for me and my husband, we’ve learned so much about Isaiah and how we can help him thrive.”

     

    The Mateo family didn’t know how to express their gratitude until they heard about the Autism Ride.

     “Junsay has an interest in motorcycles but never really rode. When he heard there was a fundraiser that was going to support the program that changed his son’s life, he was in. He was so excited to be able to mix two things that he loves together.”

    Junsay went for the longest ride of his life last September and he got his buddies to come along! Team Isaiah, with Junsay at the helm,  was the top fundraiser for the event.

    “He was so sore after the ride! But he was also so excited, he had never been part of a motorcycle ride like this before!”

    “As parents of a kid with autism, we know how hard it can be, we wanted to get involved to try and make things a little easier for the next family who is hearing the word autism for the first time.”

    Buying a raffle ticket and joining the ride helps make the journey a little easier for kids like Isaiah.

    The St.Amant Autism Ride welcomes all riders, new and veteran, to support a great cause! It’s the perfect opportunity to test your motorcycle skills and maybe even stretch past your comfort zone with a group of community-minded riders out there for a good time. Great people, good food, and amazing prizes to raise money for an important cause are the recipe for a fun day.

    Join the Autism Ride here and buy tickets here.


  • Jarrid Loves a Good Mystery!

  • May 10, 2022
  • Thanks to your donation, Jarrid now has new mysteries to solve during the St.Amant APPLE program. APPLE is an acronym for Adult Program: People Learning Everyday. This class combines learning, literacy, and socializing. Facilitators Denise and Ed tailor class content to the interests of their participants. Your recent support helped to purchase new learning tools.

    These items make learning more tangible, interactive, and FUN. A new digital microscope connects to the smartboard and shows clear, close-up imagery. This is perfect for examining things like plant roots and insects. New puzzle games and a murder mystery case encourage finding solutions, and the inflatable solar system and constellation projector turns the classroom into a planetarium.

    “Ed and I are trying to make learning fun and interactive and these tools help bring everything together.

    The expression on their faces says it all,” declared Denise. Thank you for making learning more fun!


  • You Built Confidence & Connections

  • May 3, 2022
  • Jackie is a Special Olympics alpine skier, crafter extraordinaire, and has a passion for healthy eating and exercise. She receives services from St.Amant’s Supported Independent Living program and has enjoyed many of the virtual cooking and crafting workshops offered since the pandemic began.
     
    St.Amant Foundation donors made those classes and 100+ other virtual recreation opportunities possible last year! There have been virtual dance parties, trivia nights, paint nights, cooking classes, bingo games, a garden club, and so much more.
     
    Real friendships emerged and self-esteem improved! People started making plans outside of the scheduled events to connect. They also made suggestions for future events and some folks offered to host their own event, including Jackie.
     
     
    Cupcakes may not be part of her regular training diet, but Jackie hosted a cupcake decorating class that allowed her to showcase her skills and build confidence as a presenter. This confidence will serve her well as she trains with the Special Olympics Team Canada 2022 Training Squad.
     
    Thank you for making this possible!
     

  • Scarlett’s Story: Building Important Life Skills

  • March 31, 2022
  • St.Amant autism classrooms help preschool-aged children with autism develop important life and social skills – and they couldn’t do it without donors like you.

    Melanie’s daughter Scarlett is a student in one of the classrooms. Scarlett is glad to be there, but Melanie wasn’t sure at first, “This is the first time in her life that she isn’t with me, that anyone else watches her.” Melanie felt at ease as soon as she opened the door to the classroom; seeing beautiful bright colours, new toys and welcoming faces. From that day forward, she’s been watching her daughter bloom in a safe space.

    “It’s such a welcoming, big space, a really nice classroom with fun colours, it’s so inviting. Even behind the masks, you can see the staff smiling through their eyes.”  Melanie says.

    There are St.Amant Autism Classrooms located throughout the city. Your donations furnish the classrooms with equipment, tools and technology that help advance each child’s development and growth.

    Equipment may look like… a balance board, a wiggle cushion or a chair that assists with sensory needs…

    It’s hard to learn and listen if you’re uncomfortable and your senses are overstimulated. . Each student in these preschool classrooms has the chance to create a learning environment that feels right for them. Scarlett can try many different seating arrangements, spaces and places to figure out exactly what she needs to feel safe and ready to learn.  

    Melanie shares how every new discovery at school, also helps at home “Staff let us know that she really loved this egg chair, a small chair that spins and closes with a little shade, it helps her regulate throughout the day, so much so- we bought one for home. She loves it. She can concentrate, she feels safe; it makes a big difference for her.

    Tools may look like…. a play kitchen, a sensory bin or a fidget toy…

    Scarlett has the opportunity to play with toys, like a play kitchen, that inspires imaginary play and creates opportunities to develop social and emotional skills. Skills that, her mom shares, are already making a difference, “She used to spend 80% of her time at home by herself in her room. Christmas morning, family dinners, she didn’t partake. She was alone. It was heartbreaking. Now, she spends 80% of her time with us, as a family! She’s having fun, we’re having fun together. As a mom, I can’t tell you how it fills my heart.

    Technology may look like… an iPad or a smart board…

    The smartboard provides an interactive opportunity for Scarlett to hear stories, and learn about feelings, all while developing communication skills. Thanks to this technology and dedicated staff, she’s starting to speak and learn new words. Her favourite word right now is happy.

    Melanie can’t get over how her daughter is coming out of her shell and shining “When I pick her up from the classroom she yells out ‘happy!’ When we’re at home she runs around saying ‘happy!’ To hear your child speak, and not only speak but share that she’s happy. I can’t put into words how grateful I am!

    To put words to Melanie’s gratitude, thank you! Your donations bring bright colours, important equipment and most importantly, happiness, to children and families.

    Family of four taking a selfie on couch

     

     


  • Matthew’s Story: Receiving a Sense of Purpose

  • March 29, 2022
  • Having a job gives Matthew a sense of purpose and spending money for independence. It’s because of you that Matthew still has a job. Every week he delivers flyers in his neighbourhood. As winter approached, Matthew didn’t have the gear needed for deliveries. With your support, he purchased boots, gloves, and a warm jacket, plus a sled to pull flyers.

    “I wouldn’t have been able to finish my route or keep my job,” Matthew said.

    Your generosity gives Matthew the dignity to buy the things he wants that don’t fit into his tight budget. With his paycheque, he can do spontaneous things, buy new clothes, or purchase gifts and treats. Matthew also values being a presence in his neighbourhood and the exercise that comes with the job. He relaxes knowing he has the right gear to take on winter.

    “Thank you, I truly appreciate your help,” Matthew beamed.