Friday was a day for the kids. In Campbell River and across the country, it was National Child Day.
Locally, families filled the Campbell River Community Centre so children could take part in a range of fun activities.
“National Child Day is about letting the children have a voice and celebrating the children in our community and basically giving them a day,” said Kara Shirley, who works as a programmer with the City of Campbell River’s Child, Youth and Family Department. “We have tons of activities going on in the whole, entire building.”
The event is a partnership between the city and groups and organizations in the community.
“We all come together just to have this for the kids,” Shirley said.
The activities included Bounce-A-Rama, family gym activities on one side of the gymnasium, paint-your-own-face, the family place room, a free book giveaway, music activities and crafts, while Shoo Shoo the Clown was on hand to transform balloons into animals for the kids.
If the emphasis was on fun, there was a serious side to National Child Day. Children First Canada released its final Canadian Children’s Charter, which outlines rights children themselves have asked for. Additionally, the group issued a report from the O’Brien Institute of Public Health that puts dollar figures on important issues facing children, such as obesity, bullying and child abuse.
Campbell River, like a number of other communities, had already developed its Children’s Charter, this one in partnership with school district a couple of years ago. The organizers put the version together with the help of local children.
“We’re just continuing on that legacy, just making sure the children in our community are heard and have a safe place to be active and participate in recreation,” Shirley said.