We assist, support and empower children, adults and families.
Their success leads
to strong and caring citizens
Their success leads
to strong and caring citizens
SIGN publishes a monthly newsletter for those who opt in to receive news from us by email.
If you wish to receive the newsletter (click here to see the February edition) and very occasional special notifications, please click the button below to be added to our email list. All we need is your email address, and we promise we won't overload your inbox.
SIGN feels it is important to recognize the many people who have been good neighbours and the things they have done for others, however big or small.
In an ever-changing and fast-paced world, we believe it’s important to say thank-you to those in our communities who are providing random acts of kindness.
To nominate a Good Neighbour, click the button below, fill in the form, and send it. With the consent of participants we will publishing the names and good deeds here on our website and social media. Let’s celebrate all the good that is happening in our communities!
Yorkton and area is fortunate to have many extracurricular activities for children. The majority of those activities are sports or physical activity related. Many of those are competitive in nature, and many kids “find their niche” in those programs. Because those needs are largely filled in our community, SIGN Family Support wanted to offer something that was not as readily available to kids.
The 40 Developmental Assets work that SIGN led in 2022 (and now managed by the City of Yorkton) revealed some important things. It became obvious from surveys and conversations with students that many lack extra-curricular activities, could benefit from healthier peer connections, and do not feel confident in themselves or their abilities and interests.
As a part of the community conversations, and Family Support's own discussions with schools and clients, it was learned that non-competitive activities and arts programs are of interest, and many parents and stakeholders in the community saw a need for similar programming.
As a result, Family Support decided to offer an opportunity where youth can explore the creative and intuitive parts of their brains. “Students are trying to determine their level of interest and comfort in social and extracurricular spheres. Art Zone is a chance to learn more about themselves and each other,” Family Support manager Amanda Sutton says.
The outcome is a noon hour Art Zone for students at Yorkdale Central School, a six-week pilot program that ends in early April. The Art Zone is open Tuesdays and Thursdays during the 45-minute lunch break, and is free to the students.
"It’s no secret that the costs of living put a strain on many families. We want to reduce the barrier to entering and exploring programming, with no guilt if they don’t feel like it is for them," Amanda noted.
Students in grades 3 through 8 were invited to take part, and the response has been very positive: more than 50 students have participated. That meant having to split up the club, and rotate attendance days so that the group is never larger than 15 to 20 at a time. One of the goals is to reduce or avoid anxiety, and a large group added to anxiety.
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Demand has been so high that grades ended up taking turns participating in the Art Zone. "Staff, students, and Family Support are very enthusiastic about the program, with hopes that it can be continued in the near future,” Amanda says.
The noon-hour sessions allow rural students to participate without having to drive into Yorkton, saving both transportation costs and time families can spend together without rushing to and from activities.
It provides a positive and safe space for students. For many youth who feel self-conscious or struggle with peer interactions, the noon hour can feel long and intimidating.
The art activities are non-competitive, which opened creative channels for kids who could explore and experiment freely without the expectation that they finish a project or meet criteria, because it’s when expectations are dropped that courage to participate increases and confidence can be gained.
Attendance is entirely voluntary, with no demand for full or regular attendance to “earn” or “maintain” membership in the club. Students are free to roam the room, get up and check out what others are doing, share supplies, become inspired, stretch their legs, or simply sit and observe.
Students can bring their lunches and eat while the club was being set up. Lunch hours are only 45 minutes so this provides as much creative time as possible. Snacks are also provided because hunger shouldn’t be a barrier to participation and enjoyment. Students help with set up or clean up when possible.
Two Family Support staff are there each day, and get their hands dirty making art along with the kids. They start conversations, keep the space safe, and are available to chat or to help solve problems. Multiple stations and materials are available, including acrylic paint, paper, and canvases; pastels; charcoal; watercolour pencils and paints and paper, and modeling clays. Staff works with parents to get their feedback about their kids: allergies to know about, sensory issues, special needs, or ways to connect best with their child.
The program was designed to be low maintenance for the school, and Family Support is grateful for the partnerships with the school. Hosting the Art Zone on-site made the most sense for time and safety.
We have been introducing members of the SIGN family on social media. You're invited to scroll through the gallery below to meet them and learn more about who they are and what they do. We'll continue to add more as they become available.
Move your mouse over the photo gallery, then use the arrows on each side to toggle left or right.
There are many very tangible and good reasons to work at SIGN, besides the fact you will be helping us work with and contribute to the well-being of community members who need some assistance.
Our Careers page is updated regularly, and our job listings can also be found on SaskJobs and Indeed.
SIGN on Broadway not only houses our services, but is home to many community-based organizations.
Our administrative offices and a number of services are located on North Street.
SIGN services are provided at two offices in Kamsack, and staff also travel to other communities in east-central Saskatchewan to provide services.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action are addressed to various levels of government.
SIGN is not a government, but it has implemented what it can as a social services organization. SIGN is also an active member of Reconciliation Yorkton and our Executive Director is a tri-chair of the committee.
The work of SIGN is possible through donations from community-minded businesses, residents, clubs and organizations, as well as fees for services received from various levels of government. Please consider supporting SIGN by making a donation. Your support is greatly appreciated.
Society for the Involvement of Good Neighbours
83 North St. Yorkton SK S3N 0G9 | Tel 306-783-9409 | Fax 306-786-7116
345 Broadway St. W Yorkton SK S3N 0N8 | Tel 306-783-9424 | Fax 306-783-9426
SIGN provides services to those who live on Treaty 4 territory, the ancestral lands of the Cree, Saulteaux, Dakota, Lakota, Nakota and the Métis Nation. We affirm our relationship to the treaties that are integral to the foundation of Canada and commit to honouring their spirit and intent. We respect the diverse histories, languages, and cultures of the many people who have lived on this land, and we commit to moving forward in partnership with Indigenous peoples and nations in a spirit of respect, reconciliation and collaboration.
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