Kids On Track is a community building organization that provides hope, direction and ongoing support for children, youth and their parents. Educational, social, spiritual and recreational elements are combined to deliver well rounded programs. We cultivate relationships with participants encouraging their faith, character and leadership development, social skills and lifestyle choices. We strive to support families that have limited opportunities due to various challenges.
ABOUT OUR CHARITY
Kids On Track started in September 1992 as a grassroots community outreach, focused on supporting children facing socioeconomic challenges in West Edmonton.
Kids On Track serves the community at large, with a focus on at risk children and youth, low income families, new Canadians and homes that are experiencing divorce, separation or bereavement. As a Christian organization, our programs provide support for families of all faiths cultures and circumstances. We create community, provide mentorship and vital supports and opportunities that help to build the lives of at-risk children, youth and their families.
We are a registered charity and have grown into a recognized community building organization that currently connects with more than 1,000 participants.
A volunteer driven organization, Kids On Track’s volunteer base has grown to more than 300 who contribute almost 10,000 service hours each year!
Character Clubs – Our staff and volunteers currently lead a weekly club at 14 high-needs elementary schools in Edmonton. Clubs include nutritious snacks, active games, stories and learning activities with a Christian growth emphasis. Children have the opportunity to make friends, develop supportive relationships with caring adult mentors and experience a sense of belonging.
Family Fun Nights – These are significant monthly gathering occasions for families from the high-needs communities that we serve. A family meal kicks off this monthly event with nutritious and delicious food shared around a family table. Clubhouse activities for kids feature a creative production of fast paced dramas, puppets, games and music that promote Christian character development in children. Parents attend a Parent Café over coffee and dessert which features fun parent-driven activities that help them to unwind, to connect with other parents and to glean parenting ideas from experienced parents in the community.
HomeBuilders – When children and parents are trying to make sense of what has happened in their home as a result of divorce, separation or bereavement, HomeBuilders can help. This 10 week class helps kids work through anger and emotional pain and provides strategies to help them cope with their new family situation. Parents learn how to respond supportively towards their children in this period of adjustment.
Family Celebrations – When families experience challenges, it is difficult for them to celebrate with their family. Kids On Track helps by providing free opportunities for families to celebrate at significant times of the year including a Thanksgiving Dinner, Christmas Party with a glow in the dark puppet musical, a Family Winter Carnival, a Mom’s Celebration and a Family Picnic.
Summer Day Programs and Camp – When school is out and kids are bored, our summer programs offer affordable, fun and safe activities at 12 day camp sites. Our day camps enable children in need to get out of their neighbourhoods and to experience all the wonderful places and activities that Edmonton has to offer. The summer culminates with a one-week camp filled with adventure, good food, and caring and supportive adult mentors.
Shift Youth – Shift Youth is held every Friday night. Community youth have a place to meet new friends, to go to recreational venues in the community and to get active. Recreational activities are structured to help youth develop positive peer relations and mentoring relationships with adult role models, all while having a whole lot of fun together.
Shift Youth Summer Program Day Camps – These are youth days for high-risk youth that are offered in summer and include recreational pursuits to get youth active and to try new recreational things in a safe and inclusive place. During these activities youth have the opportunity to get out of their neighbourhood and to discover the opportunities Edmonton has to offer. Youth develop positive connections with mentors and each other and have a safe and fun place to spend their summer.
Shift Youth Summer Program Overnight Camps – Our Jasper Youth Camping trip in summer provides an amazing camp experience for the 30 attending youth. They learn all the skills required to camp in a wilderness setting in the spectacular Rocky Mountains. For many youth, this will be their first camping experience and the first time that they will experience the mountains. This week offers the opportunity for youth to develop team building and cooperative skills as they work together to accomplish camp set up, cooking and recreational challenges.
Hike Like A Girl (High School Girls) and Forged Canoe Trip (High School Boys) - The backpacking trip and canoe trip will provide challenge, support and growth for teen girls and boys. Girls will hike the in Jasper for 4 days and boys will canoe many lakes in the Lakeland Provincial Park in Alberta.
Leaders In Training Experience (LITE) – When youth are looking for a challenging, engaging opportunity to become involved in their community, the LITE program is there for them. We work on their leadership skills and character development with them to enhance their self-esteem and future career prospects. Training workshops, work experience and team building activities are all a part of the LITE program. Many graduates of our LITE program go on to become KOT adult volunteers and summer staff. Summer sizzles with camp outs, recreational activities, community service projects, fund raising activities, extended leadership training and work experience at KOT's Summer Day Camps and Adventure Camp.
“We are building lives, one child at a time,”
Linda Roussel, Executive Director
What People Are Saying
"“Being a single parent, I cannot begin to express how appreciative I am for having the program in our lives. My boy was once disruptive and discouraged. Because of Kids On Track, I now have a young man who is confident, self-assured, and an asset to himself and his community.”"
— Marie - single parent
"“I’ve learned that your feelings just are, you have to let anger out in positive ways, life has its sticky situations and has its good things too. Sometimes you need to talk. Your life can get tangled up, if you don’t forgive. Sometimes you need to accept things the way they are.” "
— Terra - Homebuilders Participant - age 13
"“The most important thing I like of all is when you help kids that have problems at home or when somebody is sick in the family. And I like when you tell us to not to smoke or to do drugs, that is when you tell us to have a good future." "
— Susan - age 8
"“I strongly endorse this program as a valuable and necessary program. The youth I encounter are often from low income and otherwise disadvantaged homes. Kids On Track has opened their doors to help these kids and by doing so are helping to build a safer strong community.” "
— Rick Cole—Former Constable Edmonton Police Services
" “Our students need all possible opportunities to be enriched by community activities. The club leaders are seen as mentoring adults to our children. This is a recipe for our children to build essential character assets for healthy citizenship.”"
— Janet Laddish—Inglewood Elementary School Principal
"“We support this organization because they share in our mandate to provide opportunities for children from disadvantaged and at-risk homes. Their work with children has been commendable. The staff and volunteers are people of integrity, purpose and vision. “ "
— Bruce Reith—Executive Director of Hope Mission