The Today ‘N’ Tomorrow Learning Society (TNTLS) is a small not for profit organization whose goal is to strengthen community one family at a time. The organization oversees three initiatives: Today’N’Tomorrow Young Parent Program, Teddies ‘N’ Toddlers Daycare Centre (birth-3 years) and Little Friends Early Learning Centre (3-5years).
These programs are accessible to all families including those completing high school or college education, employed and/or families needing assistance through the Ministry of Children and Family Development.
The History of the Society
The need for an education based childcare program for young parents and their children was identified by the Comox Valley Task Force on Pregnant and Parenting Teens in 1988. At that time the incidence of teen pregnancies was increasing and there were no licensed childcare facilities for children under the age of three. The incidence of live births to teen mothers in School District #71 increased from 3.4% in 1985 to 7.8% in 1991 (1996 stats read 6.1% – 38 out of 621 live births were to teenagers). The need among secondary students in the school district was sufficient to support a childcare program. As well, with the increasing incidence of parenting teens and projected population growth for the Comox Valley, the future of education based childcare in our community seemed certain.
In 1991 a steering committee was formed to further investigate the feasibility of establishing an education-based program for parenting teens. A facilitator was hired in October 1992 to assist in the planning stages and to oversee the implementation of the program. The four components of the program were to be education, childcare, outreach and health and staffing was to include a Program Coordinator.
At this time, G.P. Vanier’s Grade 12 Construction Class began work on the childcare building and the School District agreed to support the project until final funding was approved. In July 1993, the B.C. Government announced a comprehensive program to provide facilities for education-based childcare throughout the province. Located on G.P. Vanier School property, Teddies ‘N’ Toddlers Childcare Centre opened its doors on September 13, 1993 to the first group of 15 young parents and their children.
In November 2003, the Today ‘N’ Tomorrow Learning Society was formed. It administered the Today ‘N’ Tomorrow Young Parent Program and Teddies ‘N’ Toddlers Childcare Centre with local community members sitting on the Board of Directors. As the Society grew there was recognition that a 3 – 5 year old childcare centre would be beneficial to provide a continuum of childcare for young parents and space for community families. With the help of School District # 71, the Society opened Little Friends Early Learning Centre in Airport Elementary School in March 2007. The real need was for a closer facility and the Board worked on finding a better location. The Board secured funding in 2011 and purchased a Coast Modular portable to be set up on G.P. Vanier Secondary School property. In July 2011, Little Friends Early Learning Centre moved to its new location.
Sept 2017 Today ‘N’ Tomorrow Learning Society Appoints New Executive Director
The Today ’N ’Tomorrow Learning Society (TNTLS) is pleased to announce the appointment of Natalie Robinson as Executive Director and Young Parent Program (YPP) Coordinator on September 27, 2017. In this newly established Executive Director role Natalie reports to the TNTLS Board of Directors and is responsible for managing operations to ensure the organization continues to achieve its goal of supporting young Comox Valley parents committed to completing their high school education.
“TNTLS and our young parents and their families are so fortunate to have someone as committed and passionate about our work as Natalie Robinson,” says Director Jenny Deters. “Natalie’s professional experience, business network, and her wealth of experience and knowledge of TNTLS will serve her well as she transitions from her role as the Society’s Board Chair to this new position. Members of the Board are confident that we’ve found in Natalie a positive leader who will strive to continue TNTLS’s tradition of excellence in our programs,” Deters continues.
Natalie’s experience encompasses ten years with Coastal Community Credit Union and a long history of giving back to her community. This includes serving as Chair of TNTLS for the past five years and as a board member since 2010. During this time, she also took on a number of large projects with great success.
“I am touched by the confidence that the TNTLS Board has shown me and am honoured to have been selected for this role. I’m also excited about working with the Society’s Board, staff, and young parents in this new capacity. I plan to build on the success of TNTLS by providing strong guidance and direction to Today ‘N’ Tomorrow’s dedicated staff. And, as YPP Coordinator, I will be seeking ways to expand the program’s valuable resources to strengthen its support of parenting students’ educational goals,” says Robinson.
Natalie Robinson began her involvement with the organization as an active and dedicated director on the board for TNTLS. Before accepting the opportunity as Executive Director, she held the position of Chair of the Board for the previous 4 years. Natalie loves helping people and bringing local people and businesses together. She is an enthusiastic young leader in our community. Even with a young family she began to get involved in the Young Parent Program at Vanier because she always wanted to give back to her community.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
INTRODUCING OUR 2017/2018 Board of Directors
From left to right: Thomas Dargie, Natalie Robinson (ED), Kristina Gilchrist, Vanessa Metcalf, Sallie Crawford, Sarah McMahon, Lesley Fettes, Jenny Deters, Greg Chadwick and former amazing Young Parent Justina Johnson.
Regrets: Emma Thompson, Kim Cook, Mathew Joschko and Christina Majcher
These wonderful volunteers make our organization shine! Their efforts both in-front and behind the scenes truly boost the programming that we can offer our families every day. We thank you!!!
Get to know a bit more about our Board Members:
Jenny Deters, (Director) is the Chair of the Board and was among one of the first young parents to graduate from the Today N Tomorrow Learning Society’s Young Parent program. She currently owns and operates Design Therapy Inc, a furniture/home decor store in Downtown Courtenay. She has volunteered on many boards in the community over the years and currently serves as president of the Downtown Courtenay Business Improvement Association as well as a Chair for the Today N Tomorrow Learning Society. In 2016 she was honoured with winning one of Vancouver Island’s Top 20 under 40 awards. She is grateful to have had the young parent program 25 years ago and feels that she would not be where she is today without it. Her children are both successful adults and she is very proud of their accomplishments.
Sarah McMahon, (Director, Secretary) joined the board as Secretary in 2015. She worked at St Joseph’s General Hospital from 2007-2017 and currently works at Comox Valley Hospital as a Medical Laboratory Technologist. Sarah has three young children who have/are attending TNTLS programs. Sarah grew up in the Cowichan Valley and started volunteering at age 14 in various capacities and continued through university (anti-smoking campaigns, after school programs for at risk youth, recreation accessibility for kids with disabilities, hockey team training/first aid, peer tutoring). She is looking forward to helping the society achieve its goals.
Greg Chadwick, (Director) joined the board in 2017. He is a life-long resident in the Comox Valley, was a Vanier grad and his loving partner graduated from high school in Campbell River as a young mother with the help of Cari’s Infant and Toddler Care. Greg works at Investors Group in Courtenay where he has built a strong understanding of business and finance which he brings to the board to help foster growth and success for TNTLS. He is a director with the Rotary Club of Comox Valley and a board member for Relay for Life, giving back to his community and helping others find success drive Greg daily and he looks forward to growing alongside the Today N’ Tomorrow Learning Society.
Sallie Crawford, (Director) joined the board in October of 2017. Sallie has volunteered on many boards and was actively involved in school PAC’s throughout her children’s educational career. Sallie and her family have lived in the Comox Valley for 25 years and is humbled to be able to give back to the community that she has lived in for so long. Sallie is looking forward to having an active role on the board and helping the society achieve its goals.
Kristina Gilchrist, (Director) has lived in the Comox Valley since in 1996. Making Cumberland her home, she has worked for Coastal Community Credit Union for the past 12 years. She has a beautiful and creative teenage daughter that reminds her of the many other aspiring young women in our community . Kristina has recently taking up running as her go -to activity and enjoys exploring the many trail systems that the Comox Valley has to offer. Kristina is looking forward to volunteering her time with TNTLS and can’t wait to see what the future holds for this great organization.
Vanessa Metcalf, (Director) is an island girl, growing up in Victoria, BC. After receiving her undergraduate degree from the University of Victoria in 2015, she decided to prioritize her life’s passions for outdoor recreation and community, by settling down in her paradise- the Comox Valley. As a new member of the TNTLS Board, she looks forward to supporting the programs offered, particularly through marketing and fundraising. She is proud to represent the Old House Hotel & Spa as the Sales Manager and is the current Community Service Director of the Comox Valley Rotary Club.
This is our Emma Thompson, (Director) and yes, she is English also!!!!! She has been practicing within the field of mental health, psychology and psychotherapy for nearly 23 years and is specifically trained to work with children from the age of 8 years old to adolescents and beyond. She moved to the Comox Valley with her family, over seven years ago now, from the UK. Initially her career began in nursing, specializing in Emergency Room medicine and then in the specialized area of Psychiatry. Following numerous life turns, which included working in Pakistan and South Africa, she decided to change the direction of her career and began studying the science of psychology and then successfully training as a psychotherapist, psychologist within the UK. Her true passion and joy is working with young people, more specifically children and adolescents. As a Clinical Psychotherapist within her own practice she is licensed to work with children, young people and consenting adults. Emma joined the Board of Directors with TNTLS in the Fall 2017. TNTLS is a good fit for her. She is inspired to offer her time to our organization as she has specific experience working with young mothers, child focused organizations and strategic planning within care of the younger people.
Justina Johnson, (Director) is the current Co-Chair of the Board and a graduate of the Today N Tomorrow Learning Society’s Young Parent Program. Justina works in Campbell River at York Portable Machine Tools as an office administrator. Her journey with the board began in the 2012-2013 school year, when she was the Young Parent representative at the Comox Valley Women’s Business Network where she attended monthly meetings with respective TNTLS board members. It was during that time that Justina knew she wanted to be apart of the Society’s future and contribute to its continued growth. Currently, Justina is being mentored by the Chair of the Board, Jenny Deters. She is honored to have this opportunity to learn and give back to the community that provided the support and guidance she needed to finish high school and create a positive future for her young family.
Christina Majcher, (Director)Christina is a firm believer in relationships, community, and collaboration. She works as a School Psychologist for the Comox Valley School District. Christina is the proud mother of three boys. She moved to the Comox Valley in 2015 with her husband and their youngest son. Prior to the move, they lived in her hometown of Victoria, B.C. where she worked as a Special Education Coordinator and Learning Support Teacher. Christina has taught in the public and private school system. She has been involved with organizations such as the Learning Disabilities Association of Southern Vancouver Island, Pacific Centre Family Services Association, and the Victoria READ Society. She joined the TNTLS Board of Directors in 2018. She is thrilled to support the goals of this vital community organization.
Lesley Fettes, Vice Chair Lesley and family moved to the Comox Valley three years ago to get closer to nature (and fulfill her dream of raising chickens!) Lesley works for the provincial government in land administration and brings her experience in administration and in working with legislation and policy to her role on the board. With two kids that have attended the centre’s child care programs (one now in Kindegarten, and one at Little Friends) Lesley also brings a parent’s perspective to the management of the society. Lesley joined the board in the fall of 2016.
“Alone we do so little; together we can do so much.” Helen Keller
Kim Cook, Director
Thomas Dargie, Treasurer
Matthew Joschko, Director
While we do not have a charitable tax number to offer tax receipts, we are a registered non-profit society and do welcome donations. We are happy to recognize sponsorship and donations through our website, Facebook page, and monthly newsletter.
If you return refundable recyclables to Courtenay Return-It, consider donating to us under account #143. All monies returned in this nature go directly toward bursaries for our young parents.
Quality Foods QPoints: Please consider donating your points to The Today N Tomorrow Learning Society.
Thrifty’s Smile Program, The system is simple: Thrifty Foods will donate an amount equal to 5% of the dollars you load on to your pre-assigned Smile Card that goes straight to TNTLS. Extra support in our organization’s pocket is as easy as that!
In the Media: