We know everyone could use a little good news these days. We hope these stories from Astonished! will be blossoms of good news in your day.
Check out our May 2021 e-newsletter. It is a great way to get a flavour of Astonished! these days. We are finding all kinds of ways to stay connected, including participating in Front Porch Photos. We hope you might join us for our Yoga for Every Body Event on June 11th. Click here for the news and details…..
PHOTO: Madison and Amanda Crerar Koshuba
In harmony with the UN International Day of Disabilities, Astonished! is hosting its 6th Annual Walk & Roll. It will be a virtual event, for the first time ever, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Walk & Roll is a family-friendly pledge event that aims to raise funds to support the work of Astonished! We invite you to create a team or join a team and come walk and roll with us. December 3rd at 7:00 via Zoom. To learn more, create a team, or support someone, click here.
We hosted our first Walk and Roll in 2015. Students in Dr. Brenda Rossow Kimball’s Kinesiology 342 (Developmental Disability and Well Being), at the University of Regina, had the opportunity to put their learning into practice. Student groups partnered with community groups to recognize the International Day of Persons With DisAbilities. It was a steep learning curve for all of us; but together we carried out a successful event. Since then we have hosted four more Walk and Rolls and they have been getting bigger and better. BUT, now it is 2020 and the pandemic creates some new challenges for us. We hope you are up for a challenge!
The past six months have been times of challenge, worry, change, and finding new ways for everyone. This is especially true for us at Astonished! Many Core Members have been at home not been able to go to work, some have changed where they live, have missed summer camp, have not been able to be with friends in ways that are familiar to them, and some have been isolated from family because of the protocol for their housing. It has not been easy, but we are so impressed with the way the Astonished! staff, Core Members, board, volunteers, and families have worked to create new ways of being together. The photo above of Emma and Sean is a great example of these new ways – outdoor, physical distanced, together. Click here to see more…..
On December 14th, 2019, Astonished! hosted our annual Holiday Feast. A! Core Members, families, friends, volunteers, and staff all joined in the festivities. With the Core Members, we began the event with a craft activity by decorating ornaments with paint and lots of glitter. When that was occurring, staff and volunteers were hard at work preparing the food. There was lots of food including turkey, mash potatoes, cabbage rolls, meatballs and to end the night, ice cream for dessert. We had fun coming together and catching up with one another over good food. Thank-you City of Regina for the Social Development Grant, which partially funds our monthly Astonished! Social Club event! Check out our Face Book post for more photos from the evening.
Tuesday evenings, during Astonished! Summer Literacy, students have the option of participating in events that explore various aspects of literacy, for example, cultural literacy. On Tuesday July 16th Kevin Ma taught participants how to make sushi, write some words in Chinese, and sample food that was new to many of the group. The evening was called Asian Fusion. There was lots of laughter, questions, and delight as we tried the different sushi rolls. Thank you, Kevin, for sharing your knowledge and skills with us. Thank you also to the Conexus Community Investment Program for their support of the Astonished! Summer Literacy Program. To see photos from the evening click here….
PHOTO: Katherine Taylor, Sean Davis, Pagan Racette, Maggie Taylor
For many people using digital technology is as familiar as the air they breathe, but for others it is another place of exclusion. Astonished! is delighted to partner with Inclusion Regina in the fall of 2018 to introduce six A! Core Members to online safety and the basics of using an iPad. The program, called Let’s Connect Technologies, enables participants to acquire their own iPads at a minimal price, and introduces participants to a variety of programs, apps, and online safety. Some of the participants were already familiar with the iPad but for others it was their first opportunity to have their own iPad and begin to access the world that is possible with this tool. The pride in the room was palpable. Thanks Inclusion Regina for partnering with us. We gratefully acknowledge financial support from the Lorne and Evelyn Johnson Foundation at South Saskatchewan Community Foundation. To see photos from one of the evening sessions please click here.
Our February newsletter puts all our news and events in one easy place. Check out ‘The Swing of Things at Astonished!’ by clicking here……
Kelly Schnurr is one of the astonishing people we are highlighting in our November 2017 e-newsletter. Kelly is currently completing prerequisite courses for a degree in Social Work at the University of Regina. He is also volunteering with Astonished! To read more about Kelly and some of the other astonishing people in the Astonished! community click here……
We celebrated the last A! Dance Project of the year – Halloween Edition!
With instruction from our friend MacKenzie Drumm, we found our own rhythms, channeled our inner Halloween spirits, and danced to some spooky tunes. Sean took the prize for the best Spooky Spirit. Thank you to the Saskatchewan Community Initiatives Fund for your generous support of the A! Dance Project. To see photos from the evening click here…..
Photo: Ashley, Megan, Amanda