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Families and Schools Together

Play and art therapy-based program
that allows families to come together.

About the Program

The Families and Schools Together Program (F&ST) is an international program that originated in Wisconsin, Madison by Dr. Lynn McDonald. She saw a disconnect between the school, family, and the community when she saw children coming into her office. She then created the F&ST program which is an evidence-based program that works on the strengths of the family, school, and the community the child lives in.

This program is rooted in the basic principle that no matter the circumstances, parents love and want the very best for their children. Despite this, there are many challenges to raising children and virtually every family faces their own set of unique challenges. This program exists to make a critical difference during these challenges by empowering parents, strengthening families, developing social networks, and supporting schools and communities so that children can thrive.

Families and Schools Together logo

What We Do

How do Families Register?

FSYR connects with schools in York Region to send out the flyer to families with children between grades JK-grade 3. The families respond to the flyer via email at or via phone at 905-883-6572 ext. 125. The intake and prescreen will be scheduled with the families. The program will accept families on a first come, first served basis. Any families that call after the program has been filled will be added to a waitlist for the next cycle.

How is the Program Structured?

  • 13-15 families
  • Facilitators (from our agency)
  • School partner (CYW, teacher, EA)
  • Parent Partner (active parent staff from the school community)
  • Volunteers (high school volunteers)
  • 7-8 weeks, once a week for 2 hours

How the Program Works?

Families are invited to the school after hours, join us for singing, dancing, making arts and crafts, family play time, parent’s group, and children’s play time. Each family will be invited to make a special family meal each week to share with the rest of the group and the family will be reimbursed for the cost of the meal. Each family will also receive a door prize, that includes toys and gifts for every person in the family.


For more information, please contact Varenya Kuhathaas: