Strong Start stays

Cache Creek Strongstart program, reduced to one day a week from five, is given a three month reprieve by the school board to boost numbers.

The Cache Creek Strong Start program received an 11th Hour rescue last week at the School Board meeting on Jan. 21.

Just as trustees were getting ready to vote on closing the program, Cache Creek trustee Carmen Ranta asked them to give the program three more months to turn the enrolment around.

Trustee Larry Casper read out the motion to close the one day per week program, saying it was unfortunate, but a Jan. 7 review showed that lack of attendance has been ongoing for some time, with anywhere from zero to two people showing up for over two months.

“Is the market saturated [with early development programs}?” asked Lillooet trustee Jim MacArthur. “I think we need a Plan B. We can’t just step away and say, well that was unfortunate.”

Cache Creek had the first Strong Start program in the area, but poor enrolment shifted the bulk of the program from Cache Creek to Ashcroft, which now has the program running four days per week.

Trustee Ranta said she didn’t want to interfere with how staff marketed the program, but faced with closing the program, she met withthe Parent Advisory Council to talk about Strong Start. She said some didn’t know about it and they had a long discussion  about the program. Since then, she said, she has received invititations from several groups to talk about it. She was given three months to raise the enrolment.