New Wetaskiwin family learning programs fill in the gaps

New Wetaskiwin family learning programs fill in the gaps

Rainbows and Roots of Empathy support programs come to Wetaskiwin

The Wetaskiwin Community Learning Program (WCLP) will be adding more support programs to its repertoire this fall, with the addition of two programs aimed in assisting children.

Sponsored by The City of Wetaskiwin FCSS (Family and Community Support Services), the County of Wetaskiwin FCSS, and the WCLP, the first program, called “Rainbows,” is set to start in October. Rainbows seeks to help children grieve and grow after loss such as death, divorce or abandonment.

Niki Tune, WCLP family program co-ordinator, explained that Rainbows will be offered for free in the evenings and run over 10 weeks.

“We have seen a growing need for something like this (in Wetaskiwin and area),” she said.

“This is something children need to discuss. They need help coping with their grief and struggles that they may be encountering from tragedy or trauma,” Tune said, adding that families would previously need to drive to Edmonton or Lacombe for this type of support before the program was established in the city.

Registration for Rainbows closes as of Sept. 28 so Tune encourages families to contact the WCLP at 780-352-7257 or email her at

The second program the WCLP has added to its services is called Roots of Empathy. It starts in October at Norwood School in Wetaskiwin, and Griffiths-Scott School in Millet. It aims to help raise social and emotional competence and increase empathy at the school level, Tune explained.

Roots of Empathy often has the school kids interact directly with an infant and parents.

“The aim is to increase empathy and learn the ability to see how another person feels. (The children) learn to care and respect each other so there is less bullying and aggression,” she said, noting that the WCLP hopes to expand Roots of Empathy to all Wetaskiwin Schools in the future.

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-freelancer Jessica Jones