Winter 2019

Dates to Remember

G.R.O.W. will be closed:

G.R.O.W will be closed for the holidays from December 25th to January 1st, returning to the program on January 2nd

  • February 17th - Louis Riel

Tuesday 3pm Closures:

  • Tuesday, February 4th
  • Tuesday, March 3rd
  • Tuesday, March 17th
  • Tuesday, March 31st

Employment and Income Assistance- Survey Deadline January 31, 2020

A survey to make changes to the Employment and Income Assistance received by persons with disabilities is underway. Below is a link, we encourage you complete this survey to express your ideas and concerns about this subject. The more they hear from people receiving services, their families and service providers, the more attention and effort will likely be invested in this initiative. The survey can be accessed at:

The online consultation seeks input on the same questions as the in-person session and is available until January 31, 2020. Thank you in advance for participating and making your voice heard and ideas known.

G.R.O.W. Day Program Where to GROW from Here!

G.R.O.W. Participant Profile Rachel

Photo of Grow participant Rachel preparing food.

Rachel started her G.R.O.W. journey at our summer life skills program G.R.O.W. in Gimli. Since then she has been at G.R.O.W. in Winnipeg further strengthening her community living skill set to pursue her dream of moving

out on her own. As she continues to excel in cooking, cleaning and other daily home management tasks at the program, her focus has increasingly shifted towards paid employment.

One of Rachel's passions is working with children. Earlier this year, she participated in an online course, to complete a certificate in early childhood development. Building on this success, Rachel is currently working at a local day care. One of her favorite activities is assisting in the baby room, where she helps with preparing snack and playing with the children.

Rachel has also recently started a position at Berkowitz Therapies, a private practice offering child and family focused therapeutic services. In this role, she assists with office tasks and maintaining the therapy rooms.

An avid snowshoer, Rachel is currently training with Manitoba provincial team to compete in the 2020 Special Olympics Winter Games, held this year in Thunder Bay. We look forward to cheering her on in the new year!

When asked what she likes most about GROW Rachel shared "that it's a welcoming place and you can be who you want to be." This issue we are celebrating Rachel, her hard work, achievements, and all that she brings to the GROW environment. Thank you, Rachel!

Exciting News!

We are excited to announce that G.R.O.W. and musician Lindsey White are the recipients of an additional music grant from Artists in Communities through the Manitoba Arts Council. The group will continue to write and record new original music commencing in January 2020.

Group photo of Grow participants: Allie, Akiva, Dusty, Kenyon, Lindsey, Erica, Jordan, Ryan, Ade, Adam, Jacek, and Benji.
From left back: Allie, Akiva, Dusty, Kenyon, Lindsey, Erica, & Jordan. From Left front: Ryan, Ade, Adam, Jacek & Benji.

Stay tuned for updates and for information regarding our next concert!

Community Outings

This past fall season at G.R.O.W. included many memorable community outings. We attended an educational history lesson, travelling back in time to 1895 at the Dalnavert Museum, a small Victorian Mansion. G.R.O.W. participants and staff were also treated to the music of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, with amazing performances including the WNMF 2020: Metropolis Symphony and Sergei Rachmaninoff’s last work entitled Rachmaninoff Symphonic Dances. Most recently, G.R.O.W.’s jolly holiday season kicked off with our annual Polo Park lunch & Secret Santa Exchange.

G.R.O.W. Outreach

As we head into the holidays our Outreach Program will take a hiatus until the New Year. This past season, participant’s enjoyed many exciting events such as book club, a Hallowe’en party and a Christmas Lights Tour. We look forward to the winter session of Outreach events!

Group photo at the WSO
A photo op at the WSO!

Winter Session Dates & Events

  • Saturday, January 11th - Tour of Chocolatier Constance Popp & Dinner
  • Saturday, January 25th - Science Experiment Night at G.R.O.W. and Potluck
  • Saturday, February 8th - Learn to Make Sushi at the Food Studio
  • Saturday, February 22nd - Quiz Night at G.R.O.W.
  • Saturday, March 7th - Snow Maze at Amaze in Corn
  • Saturday, March 21st - English Tea Party & Games
Group photo of Grow participants: Adam, Kenyon, Eric, and Akiva at an Outreach event.
From left: Adam, Kenyon, Eric & Akiva at an Outreach event.

G.R.O.W. Vocation

We have some exciting new vocational achievements to celebrate. Allie has been hired to work with the OT’s at Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre (MFNERC). She assumed a paid position in Clinical Services as an Assistant in March of 2019. Her responsibilities include assisting the Occupational therapists with developing resources for their clients. You will often find Allie laminating, photocopying, cutting or assembling client resources. She has enjoyed this vocational opportunity and is most certainly

proud of her achievements thus far!

Photo of Allie doing office work at MFNERC.
Allie doing office work at MFNERC.

Jordan reached a milestone in February 2019 and was acknowledged for his 5 years of service at the Jewish Federation. He is a dedicated and loyal employee who offers valuable assistance to the team on a daily basis including: data entry, event planning activities, confidential shredding and

maintaining the staff room. Congratulations Jordan on achieving your well-earned award!

Photo of Jordan working at The Federation.
Jordan working at The Federation.

Feel free to contact our Vocational Coordinator Lucy, for any inquiries related to vocation. She can be reached at

G.R.O.W. in Gimli Program

The dates for G.R.O.W. in Gimli 2020 have been scheduled. Applications are available on our website: Please share news of this opportunity to family, friends and other community members who may be interested. The program will run from:

  • Session 1: June 28th - July 11th
  • Session 2: July 19th - August 1st
  • Session 3: August 9th - August 22nd

GROWL Treats

EXCITING news! Our awesome social enterprise, GROWL Pet Treats has officially

launched their savory cat treats and they have been a hit! It’s been a very busy and successful season for sales.

Photo of Gowl Dog Treats.

Many thanks going out to “Baked Expectations” for their continued support and partnership. We’ve had the privilege of selling our treats at various community sales which included, Winnipeg Humane Society “Paws for a Cause”,

Red River Community College Market Sale and the St. Boniface Museum Holiday craft sale. Thank you to all who have supported our initiative to enhance access to meaningful paid employment opportunities for our participants.

If you are interested in placing an order for our cat or dog treats, you may do so by contacting us We are sold out till the New Year!

Supported Independent Living

What is Supported Independent Living (SIL)? The SIL program supports participants living semi-independently in the community. SIL facilitators assist participants in pursuing selfidentified goals within their living space as well as with managing everyday community living tasks. SIL facilitators use a variety of learning strategies including a learn by doing approach, practicing in-the-moment problem solving with the participant, and taking a teamwork and a strengths-based, empowerment-oriented, approach when learning new skills.

SIL learning modules include but are not limited to: meal planning, grocery shopping, meal preparation, money management, home management, health and safety, community mobility, and leisure planning. SIL program evenings are devoted to one or more of these learning modules. Participants have the

opportunity to work on their skills in a safe and personally meaningful environment.

Thank you to all of our amazing SIL facilitators. Since the fall we have expanded our team. Please welcome the three new facilitators: Daniel Sapirstein, Sarah Granger, and Sarah Rauf!

If you are interested in learning more about SIL or would like to get involved, please contact Natalie at

In Your Community Did You Know?

In this issue of the newsletter we would like to share some exciting new resources available in our community that are intended to support the community participation of individuals with sensory processing needs.

The MTS Centre offers sensory kits for individuals with sensory processing difficulties. The kits include noise-isolating ear-muffs as well as sensory “fidget” toys, ear plugs, sanitary wipes and tissues, a communication card, and a map of the venue describing the locations of family washrooms, elevators and emergency exits. Sensory kits are available at Guest Services.

Photo of a sensory toolkit from the MTS Centre.
A sensory toolkit from the MTS Centre.

Sobey’s and Safeways across Canada have also introduced Sensory Friendly Shopping on select evenings. During scheduled times the lights will be reduced by 50%, silence or reduce all sounds from PA systems, music, telephones, scanners and registers; lower department noise (for example deli machines), and staff refrain from collecting carts during the hours. Check with your local grocery store for dates and times. More information on the Winnipeg Free Press.

Lastly, the Assiniboine Park Zoo has partnered with Kulture City to provide sensory inclusive programs for their visitors. The program allows individuals with Autism and other sensory requirements the ability to use sensory kits while at the Zoo, and signage to indicate areas which sensory overload may occur. For additional information visit the customer service desk.

G.R.O.W. Family Recipes!

At the program, we have been encouraging participants and staff to bring in family recipes to share with the group. If there is a recipe you would like to share, please let us know! This issue, we are featuring a recipe made at 91 Willow - Chicken Gohan!


  • 2.5 cups Rice
  • 2.5 cups Water
  • 1-2 cups Mushrooms
  • 1-2 cups Carrots
  • 2 tbsp Oil
  • 1⁄2 cup Shoyu (soy sauce)
  • 2 tsp Sugar
  • 1-2 tsp Chicken powder


  1. Add all ingredients to rice cooker.
  2. Turn over once after light turns off.
  3. Let cool, then shape into rice balls.
Photo of rice balls made by the Grow Participants.
Photo of rice balls made by the Grow Participants.

Participants used a triangular mold to shape the rice into "onigiri" (Japanese rice balls, a popular comfort food). These were served with baked chicken, "inari" (rice balls wrapped in a sweet tofu cover) and "mochi" (rice cake) for dessert. These items are available at specialty Asian grocery stores.

Share your family recipes with the G.R.O.W. community today! Send to Cindy at

If you would like to contribute to our newsletter, please contact us

To the families and friends of G.R.O.W. Wishing you a Happy Holiday Season Happy New Year and all the best in 2020!