WHO WE ARE
Kids Now empowers youth with life-success skills to make positive choices.
Kids Now is a national youth charity that provides free after school in-school group mentoring programs to students in grades 7 and 8. We empower youth to believe in themselves to make positive choices that help them reach their full potential. Kids Now programs build resiliency in today’s youth and help kids to confidently make the transition into high school.
Created by a Canadian educator, Janet King, who saw a need to complement the existing school curriculum with life skills development, Kids Now has a proud tradition of helping youth, their families and communities. Since 1999, Kids Now has empowered more than 13,000 youth across Canada, in more than 1,300 free after school in-school group mentoring programs. Mentoring-based programs like kids.now are widely recognized as contributing to strong, safe and healthy communities.
We have helped youth in Ontario, Alberta and New Brunswick. Our plans are to continue our growth within our current communities as well as to expand into more communities with additional funding support.
THE NEED FOR YOUTH MENTORING IS… NOW
Peer pressure, drugs, gang violence, family issues and many other influences, confront Canadian young people every day. Many lack the skills to deal with these situations and feel they have nowhere to turn for help. Kids Now is an organization kids can count on to help them build their self-esteem, and acquire the skills and techniques required to overcome these challenges, to finish school and to thrive as they become adults.
Kids Now is aimed at grades 7 and 8, the ideal window of opportunity to teach youth key life skills they need NOW, before problems start to arise, to avoid dropping out of high school or getting into trouble and endangering their future income and employability.
It is clear from research on the positive influence of mentoring youth relationships. Youth with mentors are at less risk of engaging in delinquent problem behaviours such as school absenteeism, drug use, violence and crime, and are more likely to graduate from high school and go on to post-secondary studies by replacing unsupervised hours with supervised hours with a qualified mentor.
”All kids deserve the right opportunity to develop their potential, regardless of their economic background, race, religion, gender, physical, developmental and communication challenges. And all of us have the responsibility to give these kids this chance.” Janet King said this 10 years ago and nothing has changed.
WHAT WE DO
We match one volunteer mentor with 10 students in a 12 week curriculum based program that builds important life-success skills: building self-confidence, resolving conflict, setting goals, improving communication and managing stress. The program takes an anti-bullying focus and includes interactive games, skill-based activities and group discussions
WHAT KIDS WILL LEARN
Kids Now gives youth the skills now to confront the tough choices they face during the critical “tween” years, helping more kids say yes to completing school and no to drugs and gangs.
Kids Now programs build life-success skills that: improve family and peer relationships; provide youth with skills to make positive choices and turn away from risky behaviour; enhance self-esteem and encourage healthy thinking, leading to a more productive and rewarding life.
Local government, community leaders and media have acknowledged our program as a solution-focused one that addresses many of the challenges and pressures facing today’s youth.
Supported by many Canadian school boards, including an endorsement from the Toronto District School Board, the third largest school board in North America.
WHAT IS UNIQUE ABOUT KIDS NOW?
What makes Kids Now unique is not just that we mentor youth at this young transitional age, but also WHAT we mentor that helps to build resiliency. We are a preventive program, and we pro-actively teach youth the essential life-success skills they need in a well-defined, well-structured, curriculum-based program over 12 weeks to help them make positive choices, so they can reach their full potential. Our kids are self-selected, and with a small class size of 10 students and they have a safe environment where they can freely express their thoughts and feelings, and where they are able to get the encouragement and support they need.
Kids now is also unique because it mentors kids in the important life skills that are globally referred to as Social Emotional Skills. The skills that they discover in these programs are skills that elevate all other activities and learning and they are skills that strengthen children’s emotional well-being and last a lifetime.
“As we go through life, we meet people who impact us and we don’t always know that they’ve had an impact until we go forward and we look back and think “wow! that person really made a difference for me!” Those are mentors. Imagine the difference you can make in a kid’s life.” Janet King