Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Bryan McCabe and the Toronto Child Abuse Centre joined 56 students from Winchester Public School and the St. Charles Garnier Catholic Elementary School Friday to launch a new program aimed at building and strengthening the skills and abilities that lessen children's vulnerability to abusive situations.
As part of the launch, the Leafs Fund, the Leafs charitable arm, has committed $100,000 over the next two years to support child abuse prevention.
The "I'm A Great Kid" and "I'm a Great Little Kid" programs consist of books and videos aimed at children aged four to 12, covering concepts like self-esteem, communication, making choices, respect, touch, and how and where to get help.
The program is aimed at helping children who are targeted for the very qualities that prevent them from saying "no" or telling someone about the abuse. Vulnerable children, with low self-esteem, poor communication skills and a lack of understanding about how and where to get help are at a greater risk of abuse.
"The Great Kids programs will have a tremendous impact by equipping children with the necessary skills to deal with difficult real life situations," said John Lashway, senior vice-president of communications and community development at Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment. "The Leafs and Leafs Fund are proud to support the Toronto Child Abuse Centre and our city's school boards through funding the program. Educational programs like this one are a real asset to our community because they teach the skills that we as adults can sometimes take for granted."
Earlier this season, the Toronto Maple Leafs raised awareness for Child Abuse Prevention with its Go Purple For Child Abuse Prevention campaign during the month of October.
For more information about the "I'm A Great Kid" program visit www.tcac.on.ca