“The Ark” & Treehouse Housing Association
“The Ark” is a childcare facility run by the volunteer board of directors of Treehouse Housing Association. “The Ark” offers a variety of programs and services including daycare, preschool programs, after school care and school-aged care. The newest addition to “The Ark’s” repertoire is an outdoors, nature-based preschool program in which much of the children’s learning takes place outside. “The Ark’s” vision and mandate is guided by the volunteer board of the Treehouse Housing Association, and all programs are delivered and supervised by professional early childhood educators.
Meet Our Board & Staff
Meet Our Board & Staff
When Norma Stokes couldn't find an affordable preschool program for her young son 20 years ago, she decided to get creative and start her own preschool, originally called "Norma's Ark". Her business grew bigger than she ever imagined over the years, and when she decided it was time for a career change, she didn't want to see such an essential service simply shut down. So she listed the business for sale and was approached by the Treehouse Housing Association who felt that the business would be a good fit for its portfolio. Norma sold the business to the society in 2009. "The Ark" found leadership in a volunteer board of directors and has stayed as an integral service to the young families in Telkwa.
Norma recently returned to "The Ark" as a staff member and she is thrilled with what the society has been able to do with "The Ark" over their years of involvement.
One of the recent additions to the business is an outdoor educational preschool program. The children spend a significant part of their school days learning outdoors and interacting directly with the things that they are learning about. One of the great things about Telkwa, says Norma, is that there is so much nature all around it. "You can walk to just about any kind of outdoor place in less than five minutes," noting that this is no small feat with a group of four and five year-old's ambling along with you.
Norma, staff members Jocelyn Anderson and Jana Murray and members of the volunteer board feel very supported by the local community and privileged that they are able to provide such an important service to parents in Telkwa. Most of all, they're grateful to the parents who have entrusted their children to their care. "We love to see the children grow and develop," says Norma.