November 14, 2019
Program Profile: EIEIO
By Emily Struthers, Child and Youth Worker
Somewhere along the line, someone really wanted an elementary day treatment program called ‘EIEIO.’
Officially we are the Early Identification, Early Intervention and Outreach Program, although I hardly ever hear our full name. We are located on the top floor of Rolling Meadows Public School, and as far as I know, we have the only classroom in Halton with our own tree inside! We are very thankful to have Scaredy Squirrel and Otis the Owl live in our tree, Otis is usually sleeping and Scaredy often requires coaxing to come out, but they are both valued members of the EIEIO team.
On the human side, we have Erin Kivell as our wonderful classroom teacher;she has many years of experience in Day Treatment classrooms and is an expert at integrating our therapeutic models into her teaching. She is the first to remind us to all show safe hands and take a deep breath, and has a wonderful way of helping our students stay self-regulated and focused during lessons. Karrie Carlos joined us last year as a CYW and (literally) hit the ground running on her first day! Karrie proved to be able to learn quickly and bonded with our students easily,our students love Karrie’s lighthearted and humorous approach to learning, and she always has an interesting experiment or activity for us to try. Emily Struthers (that’s me!) is our Program Coordinator and I hope that I am keeping up with Karrie and Erin, they both bring so much to the team and I endeavor to support and advocate for the kids in the same way that they do. [Editorsnote: We’re delighted to welcome back Laura Harper-Ciaramella as the Program Manager of EIEIO as of September 2019. Laura has been a long-time Woodview staff member and was one of the key developers of the EIEIO program. We look forward to the continued success of the program].
Each year in September, we invite six students in grades 1-3 to join us for the year. We learn everything from Math and Language to Superflex and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT). Our lessons often look different year to year as we tailor our teaching approaches to our students’ abilities. We try our best to find field trips that our students can enjoy, in the past we’ve gone bowling, visited historical Ireland House, gone swimming, visited the Halton Safety Village, and we got a tour of our local Fire Station.
In January each year, we invite our students’ parents and care givers to attend our Family Group. At this group we teach the skills that our students use, and talk about how to use them at home. My favourite part of this group is hearing the family members support one another and share strategies and skills they’ve learned for themselves. Our families will often stay in touch with one another and plan play dates for our kids.
The best part of our program is engaging in the kids’ natural curiosity and tenacity. Every child entering our program is ready to learn,explore, and become their best self. Our students pick up new skills easily, because we’ve set up an environment where they are supported to practice them when they need to. The worst part of our job is saying goodbye at the end of the year, but if we’ve done our job well, they won’t need our support anymore!