For Immediate Release
February 15, 2012
Winnipeg, MB: The Canadian Centre for Child Protection is pleased to announce that a Grade 6 class from Forest Ridge Academy in Barrington, Nova Scotia is the winner of its’ By Kids, For Kids
Open to all Grade 6 classes across Canada during the 2010-2011 school year, the unique poster contest was designed to help children understand that child sexual abuse and exploitation is never their fault. The students who created the winning poster demonstrated how children have a voice and a right to be safe by focusing on two key messages: “Don’t be quiet!” and “You should be heard!” The poster is being mailed to schools across Canada in the coming weeks along with class sets of the Canadian Centre’s Be Smart, Strong and Safe activity booklet.
“Teaching children personal safety strategies, and about speaking out regarding odd behavior they receive from an adult, is incredibly important to reducing their likelihood of victimization,” said Lianna McDonald, Executive Director of the Canadian Centre for Child Protection. “This important poster contest gave children the opportunity to learn about a difficult issue in a very creative way with their peers, helping to open up a much-needed dialogue on the issue. Our thanks go out to everyone who participated, and warm congratulations to students at Forest Ridge Academy for their winning submission.”
“Forest Ridge Academy is very proud of this accomplishment. The students in this Grade 6 class were strong models for our school and often demonstrated ways to be good citizens towards their local and global communities. We are proud of their enthusiastic and creative approach to this project and of their interest in wanting to reach out to help other children,” Michael Smith, Principal of Forest Ridge Academy.
The ‘By Kids, For Kids” poster contest is part of the Canadian Centre’s Be Smart, Strong and Safe initiative, which helps teachers begin a conversation with students about appropriate boundaries. With a lesson guide and activity book, the Be Smart, Strong and Safe program helps students learn about what constitutes boundary-breaking behaviour, and the difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships.
The initiative was developed in response to Cybertip.ca’s (Canada’s tipline to report the online sexual exploitation of children) November 2009 research findings on child sexual abuse images on the Internet. The study found that 82 per cent of child sexual abuse images assessed by Cybertip.ca were of children 12 years of age and under. The Be Smart, Strong and Safe program, thanks to the support of Bell Canada, is helping teach children across Canada important safety skills to build their safety confidence and competence, reduce their risk of victimization and promote the disclosure of abuse.
The winning poster will be reproduced and distributed to Canadian schools in February to help spread the message to students that child sexual abuse is not okay, it’s never a child’s fault and it’s okay to tell. A PDF version of the winning poster can be viewed online at the Be Smart, Strong and Safe website – smartstrongsafe.ca.
If you are a member of the media and would like to arrange an interview with one of our spokespeople please contact our communications team:
Communications, Canadian Centre for Child Protection