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The top 5 things we’ve learned running programs to empower kids

Ten years ago we sat down at the kitchen table with an idea; to empower kids to have a meaningful, positive impact on their communities.

Since then we’ve raised more than $4M to fund child-led partnerships and programs, working with more than 2,000 children across Victoria.

Here are the top five things we’ve learned

  • Kids can have incredible power in their communities – more than we fathomed when we set out on this journey. It takes a village to raise a child, but a child can also raise a village.
  • Kids are far more capable than we give them credit for or allow them to be. Put the tools in their hands and they will have the passion and drive to learn to use them.
  • There is plenty of research to show that the arts are an incredibly powerful way to tackle issues children experience arising from trauma and disadvantage, while expanding their creativity, communication and social skills. Our experience supports this 100%.
  • Kids who have difficulty learning in the mainstream system tend to thrive in our creative programs, but equally, so do students who fit into traditional learning modalities.
  • The adults we work with – community and education leaders, teachers, family and friends are consistently surprised by the capability and capacity of kids, when they are given the tools and opportunity to take action to address real-world challenges.

Our programs are aimed at children aged 0-12, delivered in any child-focused setting where kids are safe and supported, including libraries, health centres, schools and community hubs.

We’ve developed a number of arts and social justice methodologies and programs, working with specialists in children’s education, health, welfare and cultural diversity. All of these have been evaluated, internally as well as by universities including the University of Melbourne and Deakin University, and shown to be high-impact.

Find out about our award-winning Kids as Catalysts program

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