LTCES touches the lives of our community in many different ways. Read what community members and partners have to say about our work.
Please consider making a donation to LTCES to support our programs in West Courtenay.
Building a village
“In all my work around how to build resilience, one thing has been proven over and over: Resilience comes from Connection. Connection comes from Community. LTCES gives us a place to build a village.“
- Vivian Vaillant
Meeting New Friends
“My daughter has absolutely loved the after school programs with the LTCES. Being new to the school last year and not really interested in joining sports teams, this still allowed her an opportunity to build connections and have something to look forward to after school. Ella learned some really great skills, both in outdoor education and the baking/cooking classes. In the past, whenever the program has ended, she always asks me to make sure I am the first to sign her up when they are offered again. I’m so grateful and thankful for all the thought, time and effort that go into these community programs.”
- Amber Finneron
Connections in the garden
"We attended Summer Sprouters for years, even well before COVID, at Lake Trail. The kids loved going to "The Garden." There was always something to appeal to each age group, from 18 months to 10 years and everything in between. The kids remember the bee keeper and learning to ink press, making crafts, playing in the mud, getting to pick berries, story time, snacks, and watering the plants. They felt special being remembered every week. Summer Sprouters is a great program, and I'll always recommend it to others."
- Julia (and Kenzie, Eloise, Ellie, Reid, Tobias, and Theo)
"It was such a joy to bring families together at Summer Sprouters, the sense of community was beautiful, and it was felt profoundly that this is something that had been greatly missed over the COVID-19 Pandemic. It was lovely to be a part of it.
I have also really enjoyed facilitating the Reading Buddies after school program at Lake Trail. It is so important to nurture the sense of community in our younger generation. The big buddies are so kind and patient, supporting the little buddies and helping them in a positive and encouraging way. This is how we foster community into the future."
- Daina VanRijt, Summer Sprouters facilitator, and Family Literacy Coordinator with Comox Valley Lifelong Learning Centre
"I am a senior and when I moved to Courtenay, I wanted to find an opportunity to use my skills and experience working with young children. Volunteering in the Summer Sprouters Early Years Program was enriching! It was a warm, welcoming and inclusive weekly program that I looked forward to. It was a great chance to meet community members and to contribute in our neighbourhood. The children and families were delightful!
Each week we heard from families how much they looked forward to the variety of activities planned especially for young children, and the opportunities to connect in West Courtenay at a time when other publicly funded programs were closed for the summer."
- Dianne G., Volunteer
"As an Inclusion support teacher I am always looking for ways to help students with complex support needs connect to our school community. The LTCES garden at our school works wonders as everyone can get involved. Picking beans, harvesting potatoes, planting garlic, watering, wheelbarrowing, digging; there are so many things we can do together.
We appreciate the support from LTCES volunteers and staff. Being out in nature and doing something physical is regulating for students who find school overwhelming or are having a tough day. Students can learn about life cycles and nature as they practice communication skills and perseverance. All students like to feel valued for what they can contribute, and the garden is a magical learning space."
- Sarah Dakin, Inclusion Support Teacher
Supportive and Caring
"The Lake Trail Community Education Society provides exactly what we need in these fractious times – the opportunity for connection with each other in a supportive and caring environment."
- Doug Hillian, Councillor, City of Courtenay
"AVI Health and Community Services (AVI) has partnered with LTCES on multiple occasions over the past year to offer Harm Reduction Training and Overdose Response Education to parts of our community that we might not otherwise reach. This relationship building between LTCES and other community organizations is how we build healthier, safer and better-connected communities which is so important in the face of so many health crises. We hope to continue working with them for many years to come."
-Kayla Funk, Program Coordinator, AVI Health and Community Services
"In 2022 we attended the Summer Sprouters Program for the first time with our two granddaughters aged 2 and 5. We were all extremely impressed with the program. The children looked forward to going every week. They both loved the story-telling, and while our oldest dived right in with the crafts and singing, the youngest loved watering the garden, blowing bubbles, eating the delicious snacks and watching everything that was going on around her.
The facilitators and volunteers along with the featured weekly guests were all a big hit. We found it remarkable that so many of them remembered everyone's name. There is a beautiful tree that provides shade from both the sun and inclement weather for various activities. We are all eagerly looking forward to participating again in 2023."
- Karen & Brian S.