What is Kidpower?
CYT cares deeply for child safety. We want to make sure that CYT is as safe for students and families as possible, but we would be remiss if we didn’t consider the implications of child safety and the work we do one step further. We know that at CYT, students are afforded the opportunities to grow in areas of character and confidence both on and off the stage. Why wouldn’t we use that as a springboard to give them life-skills that will serve and protect them within our walls and as they leave us? That is where Kidpower comes in.
Young mother Irene van der Zande was inspired to found Kidpower after a frightening incident in 1985. As she was leading a group of small children on a field trip, a man charged towards them and threatened to take one of the children. Irene put herself between the man and the children, including her own son and daughter, and shouted at the man and at people around her to help. With the help of bystanders, she forced the attacker to leave. The children were unhurt and soon recovered – but Irene was shaken and determined to do something to help people, especially children, build the skills and confidence to take charge of their own safety. Irene used her experience as a community organizer, author, and child development expert to bring together other experts in martial arts, education, mental health, child safety, and law enforcement to work on the issue. She encouraged parents and teachers to get involved in the creation of effective programs that make a real difference in preventing violence and abuse and in developing positive relationships to enrich people’s lives.
The organization “Kidpower Teenpower Fullpower International” responded to the demand for “People Safety” education to protect people of all ages and abilities from bullying, harassment, sexual abuse, abduction, and other emotional and physical violence – and to empower them with skills. They go by the name “Kidpower” for short, providing education and skills to people who are kids or who used to be kids, or as we might say “kids of all ages.” CYT has partnered with Kidpower in order to bring this education to leaders, students, and families in all the CYT Branches, and we pray that it is not only useful and effective, but fun!