KidSafe provides some of Vancouver's most resilient children and youth with the safety, supervision, nutritious meals, and hours of fun they deserve when schools are closed for break.

KidSafe sign outside school.

Over the past 8 weeks of Summer Break, KidSafe has provided on-site care to 450 children and youth across 17 sites in Vancouver. In partnership with the Vancouver School Board, KidSafe sets up sites at each Elementary School location to ensure that all of the kids and youth referred to their programs have the best summer ever!

Sprouts growing in West Coast Seeds packages, photo by KidSafe

KidSafe’s caring, trauma-informed trained staff work hard to ensure that the kids feel safe, supported, seen, and part of the KidSafe community from day one. From the KidSafe Summer Olympics to the highly anticipated Carnival Day, all of the kids have had a summer jam-packed with smiles and laughter!

Seedling growing in soil at KidSafe garden

Alongside the day to day fun and support, KidSafe runs a Food Security Program ensuring that all of their kids receive on site breakfast, lunch, and snacks along with take home groceries and fresh fruit and vegetables for all the family! This summer alone KidSafe provided 12,870 bags of take home groceries and served 21,000 lunches.

Worms in hands, KidSafe garden project

One of KidSafe’s key areas of focus for their summer break programming was nature-based learning. This meant lots of time outdoors in the sunshine, and an amazing partnership with West Coast Seeds who kindly provided hundreds of seeds so that every child could get involved with planting and growing their own cress and veggies!

Vegetable sprouts growing in a container, KidSafe

“It’s really important that young people understand from an early age where their food comes from and the opportunities that exist to be able to have a more hands on role in growing their own food.” Erin Bodin, KidSafe Manager of Programs.

Thank you to Volunteers sign at KidSafe Norquay

It was wonderful to see the kids taking ownership for nurturing their seeds, with many lessons learnt along the way (the kids at KidSafe’s Queen Alexandra site learnt that it is possible to lovingly water your seeds too much — thankfully some seeds survived and flourished!).

Pot with googly eyes on it, KidSafe

The kids got creative with planting their seeds using tubs where there was no outdoor space available, googly-eyed alien flower pots and the schools flower beds. The kids at Norquay Elementary held competitions to find the most earthworms when transplanting their seeds to the outdoor beds. Alongside the fun (and excitement when the first seedlings popped through the soil) the kids also learned an invaluable skill. One boy told the KidSafe staff: “I could grow tomatoes at home now!”

Seedlings growing in containers at KidSafe

Thank you so much to West Coast Seeds for providing the seeds of change for the next generation of gardeners!

Volunteer at KidSafe standing holding watering cans

Learn more about KidSafe programs by visiting their website or reading their KidSafe News, and follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. You can also read the KidSafe Summer Break Snapshot 2021 to learn more about all the great summer activities.