KidSafe Project Society honoured the "Heroes Among Us" at their annual pancake breakfast this morning at Florence Nightingale Elementary School.
Mayor Gregor Robertson delivered an official Mayoral Proclamation to officially name the week of March 21 "KidSafe Week." He was joined by MLA Margaret McDiarmid, Vancouver School Board Chairperson Patti Bacchus and members of the Vancouver Fire Service in serving a hot breakfast to children and special guests at the event.
KidSafe looks after at-risk and vulnerable children at six Vancouver elementary schools during school breaks including this year's Spring Break.
Mayor Robertson and MLA Margaret MacDiarmid serve breakfast
Sarah McLachlan Music Outreach choir performs for guests
Guests were treated to a performance by the young performers from the Sarah McLachlan Music Outreach choir before breakfast began. The dining hall which was decorated with artwork displays from children in the KidSafe program, was abuzz with conversations between corporate sponsors, politicians, school board employees and of course, the kids.
"Hundreds of children in Vancouver are placed in dangerous or negligent situations when they are outside school," explained Gerhard Maynard, Executive Director of KidSafe.
"Our Pancake Breakfast is a chance to thank our donors, sponsors, friends and community partners who enable us to provide nutrition, education and recreation for these children in a safe environment. It is with their help that we can reach out to more than 400 children throughout the city."
Saying a thank you to corporate sponsors and other supporters is important to KidSafe because without their help the program could not continue. Guests included Jeff Watchorn from CIBC Wood Gundy, the programs biggest fundraiser with the annual Golf event. Representatives from Buy-Low Foods and Tim Horton's Community Cruiser donated food and beverages for the event.
For more than 15 years, KidSafe has provided vulnerable children with a safe place to go when school is out. Research shows that KidSafe neighbourhoods are home to the children most at-risk in our city, often more so during school vacations.
"We are still working hard to raise the remaining $25,000 in order to provide the second week of Spring Break programming to over 300 children in Vancouver's inner city. We are hopeful that some individuals and corporations will step in to help to make this happen for kids. We're asking anyone that might be in a position to help make this possible to contact us." notes Maynard.
KidSafe runs in five sites, serving six elementary schools around Vancouver by providing meals, emotional support and educational activities designed to build confidence and self-esteem.
KidSafe was launched by inner-city school principals, concerned citizens and The Vancouver Sun newspaper in 1993. In response to a brutal child tragedy that occurred during vacation, our goal was to provide vulnerable children with a safe place to go when school is out.
Today, KidSafe is a registered charity run by a community-based board of directors, and continues to operate on community support and the contributions of government, corporations, foundations and individuals.
KidSafe supports over 400 at-risk children annually, and serves six Vancouver elementary schools: Queen Alexandra, Admiral Seymour, Sir William MacDonald, Grandview/?uuqinak'uuh, Florence Nightingale, and Mount Pleasant Elementary. KidSafe welcomes children during the two months of summer vacation, spring break and winter break. KidSafe offers emotional support, nutritious meals, and positive activity alternatives aimed at helping children build confidence and self-esteem, while providing them with opportunities for social development. Unique programs include literacy programming, gardening and nature activities, field outings such as visits to Science World, hip-hop dance classes, and fine arts instruction.
In 2004, KidSafe received the B.C. School Superintendents Association Award of Recognition for our unique program serving inner city school children and received special designation from the Vancouver School Board as a community partner in education.
Follow them on Twitter @kidsafeproject or at their website www.kidsafe.ca