Operating in 17 school sites during spring break, KidSafe is a program that provides children and youth with safety, nutrition and activities-based programming during school holidays and after school hours.
A typical day at Kidsafe involves breakfast and lunch and many fun activities. Group size is typically around 15-20 students with three-five staff onsite, which is far different than pre-COVID-19 times, when there were 40-50 children per site.
With the requirement of smaller groups, Kidsafe worked with the Vancouver School District to add six additional school sites to maintain the program within current public health guidelines.
Staff spend countless hours on planning enriching and engaging activities for the children which includes art, sports and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) activities. For example, at Seymour Elementary last week kids built a contraption for an egg drop contest. Engrossed in the activity, not only did they have fun, the children also solved a physics problem.
With Kidsafe’s quick response to the pandemic and increased programming, Director of Programming at Kidsafe, Katie Manning sees some positive impact.
“We were able to run six months of continuous programming, which means that our relationships with our families just became so much stronger and the relationships with the staff and kids were phenomenal, ” says Manning.
The children also share their thoughts on the program:
"We go to school together but we became best friends at KidSafe. We had the best time today, drawing cats and making slime. Please can KidSafe never end!"
“My favourite part is I get to eat lots.”
"I would rate KidSafe program a 99 thousand percent out of 10."
The Vancouver-based charity now runs nine after-school programs that offer accessible low barrier, fun activities to students during the school year too.
Learn more about the KidSafe project on their website.