January 27, 2006
(TORONTO) - Bryan McCabe presented a cheque for $100,000 on behalf of the Leafs Fund to help prevent child abuse in conjunction with the Toronto Child Abuse Centre via a new program called "I'm a Great Kid."
"The Maple Leafs have pledged $100,000 over the course of two years to a program that addresses child abuse prevention, both at the child level in our schools as well as with teachers and parents," said John Lashway of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment.
The money will allow the Toronto Child Abuse Centre to bring the program into elementary schools throughout Toronto and teach kids how to make the right choices if they are faced with an abusive situation.
"These are programs that we developed but we don't have the funding to be able to go into the schools to deliver them," said Karyn Kennedy, executive director at the Toronto Child Abuse Centre. "With the support from the Leafs Fund we're able to take the program to more than 1,800 children."
"I'm a Great Kid" uses a series of six books to teach kids about self esteem, respect for yourself and others, knowing how to make choices, and knowing how and where to get help when you need it.
"The books are meant to empower children," said Linda Skye-Grossman, author of all six books. They teach children "to help themselves and to let them know that there is always someone to listen to them if they get into trouble."
Child abuse prevention is an issue that Bryan McCabe can take to heart in an even bigger way since the birth of his first child in the fall.
"I myself just became a father so it's a big issue out there and if we can do anything to help you know it's going to be big," said McCabe. "I'm sure as parents you get frustrated at times, but you know there's a certain route to take and I think parents being involved in the program will certainly help."
For more information about the "I'm a Great Kid" program visit www.tcaa.on.ca