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National Child Day celebrated in Yorkton for nearly three decades

Yorkton, Sask. -

In celebration of National Child Day on Nov. 20, kids from the city of Yorkton spent the day learning about their rights as a child through fun and educational activities organized by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Yorkton and Area.

Throughout the day, Grade 5 students participated in various activity stations and engaged with community representatives from local groups such as the Yorkton RCMP, Mental Health Capacity Building/GSSD, Yorkton Family Resource, Yorkton Fire Department, Shelwin House Outreach, Sask Abilities, BGC, Kids First Alcohol & Drug Counselling and the City of Yorkton Recreation & Community Services.

“We bring together community partners that are here to educate all the Grade 5s about their rights and about the rights of a child,” Irma Van De Bon-Nicol, executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Yorkton and Area said. “Hopefully they can take that and share it with their peers, share it with their family, and know that they do have rights.”

Van De Bon-Nicol said educating children at an early age about what their rights and responsibilities are is important for them to understand and be aware of, as they continue to grow older.

“For example, Big Brothers Big Sisters does the rights to a name and a nationality, we introduce the whole idea of what the rights of a child are, welcome them and talk to them about Article 7 and Article 8 which supports that right to a name and to a nationality and what that means to them,” she said. “As well, we teach them that every child has a right to have someone there to listen to them, and be there for them, and that’s what mentoring is all about.”

With the various educational stations, Grade 5 students learned about their rights to a name, their right to respond in times of disaster, the right to form or join a group and the right to equality, among other rights followed by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

"It's important to empower them and [let kids] know that these rights exist and learn what they are and what they mean to them. Too often we're making them follow the rules and be obedient, but they need to know what rights pertain to them,” Twila Seely, school councillor for Yorkdale Central School said.

With the exception of COVID-19, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Yorkton and Area has been celebrating the national day and advocating for youth in the community for 27 years. Top Stories

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