The Concerned Kids educates children through the uniquely engaging art of interactive puppetry, empowering young people to make smarter and kinder choices, to spur dialogue, action and create positive change in their communities, further enabling schools and neighbourhoods to become a safer place to live, learn and play.

This charitable organization began in Toronto in 1988 (incorporated by January 1989) because of a recognized need to reach children with effective messages concerning HIV/AIDS and Substance Abuse.

Educators and community groups expressed a need for a creative way of reaching children. Four women knew that through experiential puppet performances they would be able to reach student minds through the use of this non-threatening media of interactive puppetry. Young people become enthralled when puppets speak…the more senses that are engaged, the more likely that the information will be retained.

The charity’s puppet performances are presented by volunteer puppeteers who have undergone 36 hours of extensive training & rehearsals in a style of Bunraku puppetry. The puppets allow for a non-threatening manner of engagement in a factual, unbiased, entertaining, child-centered way that helps to build problem solving abilities, learning alternatives to bad or unsafe behaviour (right from wrong) and teaching students to act with kindness and respect that will help prevent problems before they happen.

The charity’s program roster has addressed serious and sensitive subject matter on topics of: HIV/AIDS; bereavement; multiculturalism; bullying & school safety; alternatives to gangs, violence & prejudice; and peer pressure & substance abuse.

Our community based Volunteer Board of Directors was formed in June 1990.

The Board of Directors, staff, puppeteers and puppets reflect the ethno-cultural mix of the student populations being addressed.

The Concerned Kids has adjusted its programming to better align to the realities of School Curriculums.  We now have a total of 22 scripts categorized under the following headings: Mental Health (intermediate & senior); Bullying (junior & intermediate); Cyberbullying (senior); Safety Lessons (342 safety lessons: stranger danger, area codes and emergency plans); Life Lessons (practicing good manners, dental hygiene, hand washing); Personal Safety (physical, sexual, emotional and neglect); Peer Pressure & Substance Abuse; Community Awareness (vandalism & graffiti prevention ); Healthy Kids (exercise, nutrition, and healthy minds) and Physical Differences (cerebral palsy and impaired vision – about two friends going to camp).

BN 886594191 RR0001