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My community experience working for children youth and families spans many decades and includes the Cowichan School District as an education assistant working directly with students with diverse abilities. My years in the classroom helped me understand the system and work alongside teachers, administration, parents and support staff.
As the regional Success By 6 Facilitator and early childhood development specialist I helped to lead the building of child and family friendly communities and funding programs that include cultural programs and resources, literacy, nutrition, child care, children's play, parenting and family skills development. When children in the early years are supported their chances for success in school and life increases substantially.
In my current role as the Regional Facilitator for Our Cowichan Communities Health Network my focus has been to bring together diverse partners to resolve some of our communities most complex challenges including, poverty, housing, air quality and mental health.
Throughout the years I have built strong and trusting relationships with leaders from across the region in Health, First Nations, Education, Local Government and Community Organizations. I have lead the development of Collective Impact, created, Housing First For Youth (Youth @ Home) initiative, the Cowichan Community Action Team, Eldercare Project in Cowichan, Cowichan Homelessness and Housing Coalition. Together with our partners I have been able to bring in millions of dollars in grant funding, create the Cowichan Communities Health Profile and develop policies and practices to support the health and wellbeing of our citizens.
My rich and comprehensive skillset and broad scope relationships with be an asset to the board.
Reason for running
I have and always will, put students first.
We have just come through a pandemic and need to fully understand the impact on our student's literacy, numeracy and mental health. Should there be discrepancies a concerted effort to provide additional supports and resources will be my priority.
Our students with diverse abilities can only do as well as the system allows. When provided with the right supports to meet individual needs our students flourish. When the services and supports are lacking they also impact not only the students opportunities for success but also the ability of the teacher to care for the students. In addition to drawing on years of experience, I will work with the board, administration, teachers and education assistants to understand the strengths of the programs and supports and identify the shortfalls. Funding to address shortfalls is critical and every effort and strategy to find the ways to do so will be my priority.
In the same way that students with diverse abilities require support so do our First Nations students who are not yet graduating at the same rate as others. What are the factors behind this and how can our system do better? What are the resources that are required to enhance our students opportunities for success? How can we continue to incorporate Indigenous ways of knowing into our system and address the inequities in our system? The Our Story is Beyond Education Strategic Plan lays out a strong foundation and one that I am committed to seeing come to fruition.
There are exciting times ahead now that child care falls under the Ministry of Education. Our schools are the best place to provide the continuum of care and seamless transitions from child care to the classrooms. Working together with community agencies will unite our community. Early childhood educators and teaching assistants can identify vulnerabilities early on will improve the chances for success when our students enter kindergarten. My extensive background in early childhood development will be an asset as the number of childcare spaces increase within our district.
In my day job I will continue to work with district leadership and health to reduce youth vaping. I will continue to advocate for a safe space for youth with high risk behaviours and who are living on the street. I will continue to work with local, regional and provincial governments and partners in health to improve air quality in our region to reduce the high rates of asthma and respiratory illness in our children. I will continue to find ways to create affordable housing, work with partners for food sustainability and tackle the complex challenges of mental health and addiction.
VOTE Cindy Lise. I am a communicator, connector, collective impact specialist, complex problem solver and collaborative leader who will dedicate all of my skillset to working alongside the elected team of trustees, administration, staff, parents and students.