Supporting Kids During The COVID-19 Pandemic

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In these challenging times, people in Canada and around the world are doing what they can to self isolate, physically distance, and be kind to our each other and ourselves. Amazing work is being done every day by healthcare professionals, first-responders, grocery staff, sanitation workers, bus drivers, pharmacists, government staff, postal workers, teachers, charities and so many more. This challenging time has created a positive opportunity for all of us to come together and help each other.

Young people are being faced with anxiety, questions, vulnerability, and concerns around meal security, health, learning and employment. KidzFirst Canada strives to help young people empower their communities and create positive environments for them.

We are humbled to announce two significant donations to assist two very important meal security programs for vulnerable youth dealing with homelessness, addictions, and essential service items for them and their families in this challenging time. In addition, we are also contributing funds to supply and support a very important Crisis Arts program through Covenant House. Their Arts Crisis program is essential to the development and mental health of vulnerable youth.We are encouraging everyone to help your local charities, make a donation and help us support young people in these challenging times. With everyone coming together, while physically distancing, we can get through this and create hope for those young people who are even more vulnerable during these uncertain times. Help KidzFirst Canada “Put Kids First!”

COVID-19 Update from KidzFirst Canada

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At KidzFirst Canada, our role and responsibility during this time, like anytime, is the health and well-being of vulnerable and marginalized young people. You can read important information below and follow us on social media for additional information with regards to online education sites, updates, and tools to use at home and in your social distancing community.

KidzFirst Canada is making sure to support those vulnerable young people and their communities through donations and information. If you would like to donate, 100% of your donations will go towards additional meal security programs, devices and safe environments for those young people in need.

Please just click on the blue DONATE button and help us help young people during this crisis.

Currently we are working groups and organizations supporting meal & food security, educational tools, and safe living environments for those on the streets.

Important Information About COVID-19 from Health Canada:

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a disease caused by a new strain of coronavirus. ‘CO’ stands for corona, ‘VI’ for virus, and ‘D’ for disease. Formerly, this disease was referred to as ‘2019 novel coronavirus’ or ‘2019-nCoV.’ The COVID-19 virus is a new virus linked to the same family of viruses as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and some types of common cold.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Symptoms can include fever, cough and shortness of breath. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia or breathing difficulties. More rarely, the disease can be fatal. These symptoms are similar to the flu (influenza) or the common cold, which are a lot more common than COVID-19. This is why testing is required to confirm if someone has COVID-19.

How does COVID-19 spread?

The virus is transmitted through direct contact with respiratory droplets of an infected person (generated through coughing and sneezing). Individuals can also be infected from and touching surfaces contaminated with the virus and touching their face (e.g., eyes, nose, mouth).
The COVID-19 virus may survive on surfaces for several hours, but simple disinfectants can kill it.

Who is most at risk?

We are learning more about how COVID-19 affects people every day.  Older people, and people with chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease, appear to be more at risk of developing severe symptoms.

As this is a new virus, we are still learning about how it affects children. We know it is possible for people of any age to be infected with the virus, but so far there are relatively few cases of COVID-19 reported among children. This is a new virus and we need to learn more about how it affects children.

The virus can be fatal in rare cases, so far mainly among older people with pre-existing medical conditions.

What is the treatment for COVID-19?

There is no currently available vaccine for COVID-19. However, many of the symptoms can be treated and getting early care from a healthcare provider can make the disease less dangerous. There are several clinical trials that are being conducted to evaluate potential therapeutics for COVID-19.

How can the spread of COVID-19 be slowed down or prevented?

As with other respiratory infections like the flu or the common cold, public health measures are critical to slow the spread of illnesses. Public health measures are everyday preventive actions that include:

✓ staying home when sick;
✓ covering mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue when coughing or sneezing. Dispose of used tissue immediately;
✓ washing hands often with soap and water; and
✓ cleaning frequently touched surfaces and objects.

As we learn more about COVID-19 public health officials may recommend additional actions.

Specific Information for Young People and their Families:

The protection of children and educational facilities is particularly important. Precautions are necessary to prevent the potential spread of COVID-19 in all settings; however, care must also be taken to avoid stigmatizing students who may have been exposed to the virus. It is important to remember that COVID-19 does not differentiate between borders, ethnicity, disability status, age or gender.

Today, children and young people are global citizens, powerful agents of change and the next generation of caregivers, scientists, and doctors. Any crisis presents the opportunity to help them learn, cultivate compassion and increase resilience while building a safer and more caring community. Having information and facts about COVID-19 will help diminish students’ fears and anxieties around the disease and support their ability to cope with any secondary impacts in their lives.

Encourage children to discuss their questions and concerns. Explain it is normal that they may experience different reactions and encourage them to talk to adults if they have any questions or concerns. Provide information in an honest, age-appropriate manner. Guide young people on how to support their peers and prevent exclusion and bullying.

Promote and demonstrate regular hand washing and positive hygiene behaviors and monitor their uptake.

Washing hands properly:

Step 1: Wet hands with safe running water

Step 2: Apply enough soap to cover wet hands

Step 3: Scrub all surfaces of the hands – including backs of hands, between fingers and under nails – for at least 20 seconds

Step 4: Rinse thoroughly with running water

Step 5: Dry hands with a clean, dry cloth, single-use towel or hand drier as available

Wash your hands often, especially before and after eating; after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom/ toilets/latrines and whenever your hands are visibly dirty. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water, if hands are visibly dirty.

Help children cope with the stress

Children may respond to stress in different ways. Common responses include having difficulties sleeping, bed-wetting, having pain in the stomach or head, and being anxious, withdrawn, angry, clingy or afraid to be left alone. Respond to children’s reactions in a supportive way and explain to them that they are normal reactions to an abnormal situation.

Listen to their concerns and take time to comfort them and give them affection, reassure them they’re safe and praise them frequently. If possible, create opportunities for children to play and relax. Keep regular routines and schedules as much as possible, especially before they go to sleep, or help create new ones in a new environment.

Provide age-appropriate facts about what has happened, explain what is going on and give them clear examples on what they can do to help protect themselves and others from infection. Share information about what could happen in a reassuring way. For example, if your child is feeling sick and staying at home or the hospital, you could say, “You have to stay at home/at the hospital because it is safer for you and your friends. I know it is hard (maybe scary or even boring) at times, but we need to follow the rules to keep ourselves and others safe. Things will go back to normal soon.”

CHECKLIST FOR PARENTS/CAREGIVERS & COMMUNITY MEMBERS

  1. Monitor your child’s health and keep them home from school if they are ill.
  2. Teach and model good hygiene practices for your children. Wash your hands with soap and safe water frequently. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty. Ensure that safe drinking water is available and toilets are clean and available at home. Ensure waste is safely collected, stored and disposed of o Cough and sneeze into a tissue or your elbow and avoid touching your face, eyes, mouth, nose.
  3. Encourage your children to ask questions and express their feelings with you and their teachers. Remember that your child may have different reactions to stress; be patient and understanding.

CHECKLIST FOR STUDENTS AND CHILDREN

In a situation like this it is normal to feel sad, worried, confused, scared or angry. Know that you are not alone and talk to someone you trust, like your parent or teacher so that you can help keep yourself and your school safe and healthy. o Ask questions, educate yourself and get information from reliable sources.

Protect yourself and others.

  • Wash your hands frequently, always with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Remember to not touch your face
  • Do not share cups, eating utensils, food or drinks with others.

Be a leader in keeping yourself, your school, family and community healthy. Share what you learn about preventing disease with your family and friends, especially with younger children to model good practices such as sneezing or coughing into your elbow and washing your hands, especially for younger family members.

Don’t stigmatize your peers or tease anyone about being sick; remember that the virus doesn’t follow geographical boundaries, ethnicities, age or ability or gender.

Tell your parents, another family member, or a caregiver if you feel sick, and ask to stay home.

KidzFirst at the Building Vancouver’s Future Event

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KidzFirst Canada is excited to be presenting at the Whiskey Wisemen’s Building Vancouver’s Future event on February 21, 2020. We will be giving  short presentation and will be available take donations and answer questions.

The Event:

In celebration of our wonderful city, the Whisky Wisemen Society has created an evening that brings together thought leaders, executives, companies, and organizations to answer the question ‘“How am I building Vancouver’s future?”

Speakers at the event will include:

  • Jeff Mallett, Co-Owner and Executive Chair of Vancouver Whitecaps FC, as the keynote speaker.
  • Genesa Greening, President and CEO of BC Women’s Health Foundation
  • Mark Pannes, Whitecaps FC CEO
  • The evening will be hosted and moderated by Jason Pires, Co-Anchor of CTV Morning Live Vancouver.

In true Whisky Wisemen style, the event will include a professional whisky tasting hosted by Gez McAlpine, Canadian Brand Ambassador for Bruichladdich and Westland, locally prepared food and an exhibition hall to interact with leading Vancouver companies representing a variety of industries.

Buy your tickets here.

Supporting Three New Programs

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This Spring KidzFirst Canada was excited to be able to offer our support to three great organizations.

Adam's Apples

Adam’s Apples Foundation

Adam’s Apples Foundation (AAF) is a non-profit organization established to address and prevent mental health issues facing youth today

Adapted Sports Development

Adapted Sports Development is a service which provides a personalized physical activity program for individuals with disabilities. We will assess, create, and implement a physical activity program in coordination with the family’s preferences.

KidSafe Project

KidSafe provides 450 vulnerable children and youth with the safety, nutrition, and educational programming they need and deserve during school breaks.

KidzFirst Canada Goes to a Canucks Game

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KidzFirst Canada had the opportunity this weekend to offer some deserving families the opportunity to attend a Vancouver Canucks game at Rogers Arena. These kids and their parents had an night of joy and excitement as the Canucks opened the scoring with an early goal. Sadly, the Calgary Flames tied it up shortly after. The first period would see one more goal for each team, and the 2nd and 3rd periods saw one more for each team. The kids were on the edge of their seats as the clock ticked down to end the 3rd. Overtime was equally exciting with end to end action as both teams hit a post, but overtime resolved nothing and the game went to a shoot-out. The Canucks’ rookie sensation Elias Petterson scored on the first shoot out attempt and the Canucks went on to win the game.

KidzFirst Canada would like to thank the Vancouver Canucks for making this possible.

make it awkward inclusivity summit

KidzFirst Canada Sponsors Kids to Attend #MakeItAwkward Inclusivity Summit

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KidzFirst Canada Sends EMCN S.K.Y. Club Kids to #MakeItAwkward Inclusivity Summit

KidzFirst Canada has partnered with EMCN (Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers) and their S.K.Y. Club for newcomer kids to send 10 kids to the #MakeItAwkward Inclusivity Youth Summit Feb 3rd at the Edmonton Westin.

About S.K.Y. Club (Support for Kids and Youth)

Sky Club offers newcomer children a range of activities and learning opportunities to give them the coping skills that will help them integrate into the Canadian school culture and form strong relationships. Source

make it awkward inclusivity summit

KidzFirst Canada Partners With #MakeItAwkward

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KidzFirst Canada is proud to be partnering with the #MakeItAwkward Team and the Make it Awkward Inclusivity Summit  This partnership came about due to the 20 + year friendship between KidzFirst Canada Founder & Board Chair Mark Mahl, and the Co-Founder and Executive Director of the the Make It Awkward movement, Jesse Lipscombe.

Almost 2 years ago Jesse was filming a public service announcement for the City of Edmonton when he was confronted with profane racial slurs. Jesse chose to reach out through the power of understanding, love and support to have our communities speak up, empower each other, and teach the importance of forgiveness and tolerance. Every day our young people are at-risk & vulnerable in their communities, schools, neighbourhoods, and peer surroundings.

The Make it Awkward Inclusivity Summit takes place February 1 – 3rd, 2018 in Edmonton, Alberta. The Summit will bring together global leaders championing inclusivity, diversity, and love. It will seek to empower participants to become ambassadors of change in their homes, workplaces, communities.

IN-Clusivity_make it awkward

 

Day 1 and 2 of the event will focus on ways adults can help, but the Day 3 Youth Summit is all about the kids, the leaders of tomorrow!

Speakers will include:

View the complete program here.

Buy tickets here.

Win to tickets anywhere in N America that Air Canada Flies

Win Two Tickets To Fly Anywhere in North America with Air Canada

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Air Canada Has Donated Two Tickets to the Kidz at Heart Gala

For the Kidz at Heart Gala on Tuesday February 21st Air Canada has generously donated 2 tickets anywhere that they fly in North America, including Mexico, the Caribbean, and Hawaii. We will be doing a raffle for these during the event. You will be able to buy tickets at the check-in desk, or during the night from our Board Members. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity, get your tickets for the Gala now.

 

Kidz at Heart Capri Everitt

Capri Everitt to Perform at Kidz at Heart Gala

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We are excited to announce that Capri Everitt of Around the World in 80 Anthems will be making an appearance at the Kidz at Heart Gala. Capri will perform the Canadian National Anthem and a couple of her favourite anthems from the 80 that she performed around the world last year. Get your tickets now. There is only a few days left at the early-bird rate. >>> http://events.eventzilla.net/e/kidz-at-heart-2138868253 <<<