‘Kindness Club’ helps paint GrandAbilities mural

FERGUS – From the looks on the faces of participants at GrandAbilities, efforts of the John Black Public School Kindness Club do matter.

It was a packed house on June 17 as students worked with centre participants to create a new mural for the facility and to learn simple ways to make ice cream.


Shake it up – John Black Public School Kindness Club members get in the groove of making ice cream as they helped out at the GrandAbilities Centre in Fergus on June 17.


Judy Anderson of the Elora Centre for the Arts designed the mural and helped students execute the project.

She expected both students and participants at the GrandAbilities Centre would be working on the mural over the next few weeks.

Anderson anticipated returning in the fall to add final details.

GrandAbilities program director Nancy Crawford said the centre opened just a year ago.

A former educational assistant with the school board and Community Living worker, Crawford said there were changes over the years with Community Living, notably sheltered workshops and some of the in-house programming.

“I thought I would try this on my own,” she said, noting there was a very successful similar program in Guelph called Live and Learn.

GrandAbilities is designed to provide social, recreations, educational and life skills opportunities for adults with developmental differences in the Centre Wellington area. The centre offers a social and safe place for peers to come together to learn and grow.

Crawford explained the centre is aimed at individuals 18 years and older.

“We offer a day program Monday to Friday. We do crafts. We do life skills. They are adults and they are still learning,” she said.

She added the centre provides a socially relevant space to gather with friends.

“We offer a social night once per week. Examples include pub grub night, Bingos, and karaoke night for fun.”

Crawford added, “We also do community programs, volunteer placements, help people find jobs. But we do inclusive activities.”

She explained she wanted the centre “to be inclusive, which is why we have the kids coming.”

Crawford explained the students are from John Black Public School’s Kindness Club, which includes students from grades 4 to 7.

“They’ve invited us there (to the school) so we thought we’d invite them here,” said Crawford, who added the centre also received a grant for the mural.

And because such a large group of students was to help with the mural, Crawford said she thought it would be a good idea to offer additional activities.

Crawford noted the centre’s programs are based on what people want.

For more information about the centre visit www.grandabilities.ca.