National Child Day is about celebrating children as active participants in their own lives, as active citizens who can and should meaningfully contribute to decision-making in their community. Every year National Child Day is celebrated on November 20, and this year's theme was: Children have the right to be seen and heard. To celebrate, Strathcona County Child and Youth Coalition held a creative mask design competition as an opportunity for children and youth to express themselves through art, poetry, and creative writing.
Participating organizations in this competition included Boys and Girls Club CanTeen Youth Hub, Boys and Girls Club before and after school programs, as well as Strathcona County Library.
“The Boys and Girls Club has been busy this year growing to fit the ever-changing needs of the community. The launch of the CanTeen Youth Hub has taken off and is proud to be serving the pivotal minds of our Strathcona County teens and youth. At the CanTeen Youth Hub, youth ages 12-24 are welcome to have a space of their own where their voices are heard and where they can be involved in contributing to decisions that affect our community”.
-Jessica Proulx, Boys and Girls Club Youth Outreach Coordinator
The winners of this competition were chosen by youth themselves, organized by the CanTeen Youth Hub Youth Committee. Selecting the winners was a great way for the committee to gain leadership skills and creatively give back to the hub and to the community.
Congratulations to the Winners: Payton and River!
This is what Payton had to share:
Why did you choose this design? "I wanted to support my soccer team at my school and make a fun team picture."
What does it mean to you to be seen and heard as a child? "I feel good when other people want to know about me and who I am.”
What are some ways that you can share your voice? "I can talk to my friends and to my team and let them know that I am funny. I like to tell jokes and make my friends laugh.”
This is what River had to share:
Why did you choose this design? “I chose it because the hearts represent my family and friends and the rainbow represent that every child is loved and matters.”
What does it mean to you to be seen and heard as a child? “knowing I am heard through art is special to me because my opinion matters.”
What are some ways that you can share your voice? “I can share my voice through art, song, and talking to those who listen.”
Now more than ever it is crucial that we support the children and youth in our community, to let them know that they have a voice and that they should be celebrated.
For more information on the CanTeen Youth Hub, visit Boys and Girls Club of Strathcona County, on Facebook, or by following their Instagram account @canteen.youth!