Rhymes That Bind: Adapting the Parent Child Mother Goose Program
Barbara Sykes, Ruth Wolfe, Louise Gendreau, and
The first Mother Goose program in Edmonton, Alberta was
offered in the spring of 1995 and several programs were begun in other
communities shortly after. The success of these initial programs
convinced a number of community organizations of the value of offering
Mother Goose in a more intentional and sustained way.
In the spring of 1996, Prospects Literacy Association made a
commitment to include Mother Goose as one of their key program areas.
In a collaborative effort involving Capital Health Authority and other
partner organizations and with funding from Early Intervention, Action
for Health and the United Way, Prospects Literacy Association
undertook to coordinate the delivery of a number of Mother Goose
programs across the city. The programs that were included in this
collaborative effort were given the name Rhymes that Bind.
The model for Rhymes That Bind programs in Edmonton is
Toronto¹s Parent-Child Mother Goose program which was
developed twelve years ago and which has subsequently been running in
a variety of settings in Toronto. Much has been learned, both from the
Toronto experience and from the Edmonton programs, about what works
and what doesn't work. However, until this initiative began there had
been no comprehensive evaluation of Mother Goose programs.
In preparation for a development phase for Rhymes That Bind,
a one day basic training session and a four session storytelling
workshop were held for potential program facilitators. Following
training, Rhymes That Bind programs were offered in six sites
in the fall of 1996 (and an additional site beginning in November).
Many of the people who had taken the initial training, continued their
training as co-leaders of these sessions. This phase of the program in
Edmonton offered a unique and valuable opportunity for focused
learning about the Parent-Child Mother Goose program model
- the difference it makes to parents, children, and other
- where it fits in the community,
- what is needed to support and sustain the important elements of
1 Adapted from Rhymes That Bind:
Adapting the Parent-Child Mother Goose Program Model. Report prepared
for Prospects Literacy Association, January, 1997. Published with
permission of Prospects Literacy Association.