To provide resources and support to students looking for help in continuing their pregnancy and their education
What we do
Acadia Pregnancy & Parenting Support is a confidential and free resource available to all students involved in a pregnancy or parenting children while a student. This safe environment offers nonjudgmental peer support, accurate information, and practical help. As our Mission Statement says, our mission is to provide resources and support to students looking for help in continuing their pregnancy and their education while attending Acadia. We exist on campus and offer personal, free support. Contact us to learn more.
What we don't do
Acadia Pregnancy & Parenting Support is not an advocacy group. We do not engage in debate about moral or political issues. We are only interested in showing love and acceptance to our fellow students who are looking for support with their pregnancy and parenting; helping to connect them with a wealth of local resources and to support them along the way.
Acadia Pregnancy & Parenting Support is an outreach of the Valley Care Pregnancy Centre, a Christian based Registered Canadian Charity located in Kentville, NS. Like the Pregnancy Centre, Acadia Pregnancy & Parenting Support serves clients of all ethnic backgrounds, religious affiliations, and walks of life.
How We Began
Acadia Pregnancy & Parenting Support Mission Statement: To provide resources & support to students looking for help in continuing their pregnancy and their education and for those students needing help parenting while at Acadia.
Acadia Pregnancy & Parenting Support (APPS) began with Acadia students informing the Valley Care Pregnancy Centre (VCPC) about needs they experienced on campus. (The Valley Care Pregnancy Centre is a Christian outreach ministry based in Kentville, www.asafeplaceforme.com.) VCPC conducted years of extensive surveys which revealed the plight of Acadia students who indicated they had no meaningful support for pregnancy or parenting like other universities in the province. Many students stated that they personally knew a student who was pregnant but didn’t know of any support on campus for their pregnant friend. Pregnant students reported that access to abortion was readily available and that it was offered to them very quickly. But if they carried to term, they would be expelled from their dorm once they gave birth, with no alternative housing support offered by the university. Parenting students complained of the lack of child care and meaningful support for single parents or families on campus.
The Valley Care Pregnancy Centre consulted with students, faculty and staff at Acadia to discuss how to help answer these glaring needs which students were experiencing. Substantial positive support was found for action. Drawing only from private funds raised in the community, a graduate from Acadia with a degree in counselling was hired by VCPC in 2014. This new position was to help students who wanted to create an Acadia Pregnancy & Parenting Support (APPS) club on campus. The facilitator focused on training and equipping and encouraging interested students to care well for their fellow students in need. No office space could be found for the first two years the club was in operation.
Within those first two years, APPS heard rumours about pushback and alienation from some on campus. One student heard bad news being spread about APPS so she pretended to need help just to see how bad APPS was. Her story of how impressed she was with APPS is printed in the student newspaper.
Between 2014 and 2018, Acadia Pregnancy & Parenting Support has enjoyed being able to help students help other students. They have met with many students for pregnancy tests and were able to be a safe and encouraging community on campus who had the time and compassion to listen to their story and discuss the support available to them.
Because students and faculty of Acadia had expressed a need for parenting support, APPS staff worked to develop a proposal to Acadia for the development of child care on campus. APPS was successful in its appeal for Acadia to begin installing baby change tables in strategic washroom locations. APPS developed an extensive resource directory for pregnant and parenting students and held baby showers for new mothers. APPS worked with faculty to hold panel discussions on campus with topics such as breastfeeding and nutrition. APPS even provided transportation for doctor’s appointments among other things.
Requests continued to be made for an office space in the ASU building, but none was said to be available. In June, 2016, APPS was offered a small space in the Student Union Building which they thankfully accepted. There was finally a place to meet students privately. In the winter of 2018, a generous grant from a community foundation was awarded to furnish the office space. That office space is no longer available, so we meet with students on campus at a mutually agreed upon location when students contact us.
Students have expressed deep gratitude for the support, kindness, generosity and just the availability of time offered through the students and staff of Acadia Pregnancy & Parenting Support. There is nothing like the smile of a new mother opening a new car seat at an Acadia Pregnancy & Parenting Support baby shower or the hug of a pregnant student after a session together where she felt heard, loved and supported in her time of need. Two stories sum up the kind of support that is found to be so appreciated by students:
As an international student, she lacked a close support system to lean on. Acadia Pregnancy & Parenting Support quickly became her lifeline, and we were able to guide her to the resources she needed throughout the semester. She was so relieved, saying that the very things she had been worrying about (housing, money, parenting) were the things we had resources for. She was also grateful for our prayers. We plan to continue working to support her when she returns to Acadia with her baby in the winter!
Before APPS was active on campus, one student at Acadia became unexpectedly pregnant. She had looked all over campus for pregnancy support and was quite frustrated to find none. She expressed how happy she was to hear that this was all changing with the arrival of Acadia Pregnancy & Parenting Support
Pregnant and parenting Acadia students find the robust and meaningful support offered by APPS very helpful. Contact us today.
Visit us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/acadiapregnancysupport/