By Bobinec, Greg on November 18, 2019.
Lethbridge Early Years Coalition joined with other organizations across the country in celebration of children’s rights for the annual National Child Day Celebration.
National Child Day is celebrated annually across Canada in recognition of the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of the Child. To celebrate the rights of children, LEYC partnered with 28 child-centreed community organizations to host a free family celebration at Lethbridge College on Saturday.
“National Child Day is about the United Nations declaration to the rights of children and it is looking at 54 articles that really give us a road map of how to raise happy and healthy children,” says Vicki Hazelwood, co-ordinator of Lethbridge Early Years Coalition.
“Today we want to raise awareness of those rights and let children know that they have the right to be safe, the right to have their basic needs met. We are gathering with the community and spreading the message with 28 different community organizations and agencies that are passionate about seeing children and youth reach their full potential, so they are here to connect families with what they are doing in the community.”
The purpose of National Child Day celebrations is to renew the community awareness and give respect for the rights of children and youth across the country, connect families with community resources available locally, and to celebrate all that children bring the communities.
“We know that children really are our city’s richest resource and we just want to celebrate them and that is what today is all about,” says Hazelwood.
“We really want to build awareness of children’s rights. It’s not something that everyone thinks about and so with the 20th anniversary celebration, there is more happening across the country for National Child Day this year, and we are really thrilled to be a part of supporting children’s rights and the awareness of them through this event.”
Mayor Chris Spearman joined the celebration over the weekend, as he spoke about the importance of the declaration as well as the Play Charter the city signed, which encourages children to have unstructured and creative playtime.
“Today we acknowledge the role of children in our community and the opportunities that we create for children in terms of creative play and traditional, cultural experiences for children as well,” says Spearman. “We want to acknowledge that Lethbridge is very diverse, we want children to grow up in comfort, recognizing and valuing differences, and we want to make sure that children are creative in their play spaces.”
Throughout the day, children throughout the community took to the college to partake in a variety of activities including multicultural dancing, games, craft projects, and much more as they celebrated their rights to have a happy, healthy, safe and creative upbringing.
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